The Independent Community News Network (ICNN) has continued its calls for more to be done to support independent titles during the coronavirus pandemic.
ICNN has called on the government to #saveindependentnews and said that their contribution to communities is unparalleled.
The Independent Community News Network has previously said that hyperlocals will be ‘out of business within weeks’ if financial support is not provided. The organisation has also called for the hyperlocal industry to have a share of public health advertising and for its members to be recognised as key workers and allowed to carry on reporting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint statement with the Publish Interest News Foundation (PINF), the ICNN said: “Independent news providers in the UK reach over 14.9 million unique visitors online every month; and have a collective print run of over 426, 800 editions.
“Their contribution to their communities and audiences is unparalleled. In several cases, they are the only source of news where they are based.”
The statement said it is crucial that all future policies regarding support for the news industry in this crisis, including public advertising, consider independent news providers.
It added: “Independent publishers include a wide range of locals, regionals, specialised and investigative outlets. The independent quality lies in their smaller structures; but their unique value lies in their reach, engagement and overall contribution to their communities.”
- The Independent Community News Network(ICNN) is the UK’s representative body for the independent community news sector. It exists ‘to promote the interests of community and hyperlocal publishers in the UK, and to champion new and sustainable forms of local digital and print journalism’.
- The Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) was launched in November 2019 with stated aims to “unlock” the potential of independent news providers “through grants, advice and networking”. The PINF is being supported financially by press regulator IMPRESS during its start-up period.