Fourteen publishers are joining the Community News Project (CNP) creating 18 new reporter roles as the scheme expands with £6 million funding from Meta.
The funding boost will see reporters cover communities on the Scottish west coast island of Bute, people with disabilities in Brighton and Hove, and the Latin American community in Elephant and Castle.
Launched in 2019, the CNP is a partnership between the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), Meta (formerly Facebook) and nine regional news publishers. The scheme aims to support local journalism while improving diversity in UK newsrooms. The new publishers were selected to join the project after a tender process in which applicants were asked to demonstrate how a reporter could engage with a underserved community and/or location.
Announced this week by the NCTJ, Tindle Newspapers will be joining the scheme with four reporters covering the Welsh language communities around Aberystwyth, the farming communities around Newton Abbott, and locations in the Tamar Valley and Wellington area in Somerset.
DC Thomson will also be joining the scheme and will cover areas of Fort William, Lochaber and Skye, and the Western Isles.
Sarah Brown, head of local news partnerships, Northern Europe at Meta, said: “At the heart of the CNP is a goal to surface real life stories from under-represented groups from our first ever Welsh language title in Aberystwyth to the African and South American communities in London.
“We look forward to working with the NCTJ and our publishing partners in onboarding a new cohort of trainees who will share stories and viewpoints that don’t often get told.”
Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “This brilliant project continues to be a success story for the industry thanks to Meta’s on-going investment and the support of the publishers involved in the scheme.
“It already had diversity at its core with more than 60 per cent of the reporters coming from under-represented backgrounds to report on 80 previously underserved communities.
“With a welcome increase in funding and 23 wide-ranging news media partners now covering 100 communities, we have an even more diverse range of publishers involved in the scheme who are as committed as we are to the sustainability of quality, trusted local news journalism.
The 14 new publishers, and the 18 communities they will serve can be found here.