Monday, 1 November 2010

'National newspapers carrying less regional news'

Media Standards Trust director Martin Moore in a comment about the Trust's report today, highlighting a decline in foreign coverage in the UK press (see post below), says another "striking" aspect of the research was the fall in regional stories getting into the nationals.

He writes: "We didn’t set out to write a report on international news. We (the Media Standards Trust) set out to get a handle on what had really changed in newspapers – in terms of content – over the last few decades. There is so much (understandable) focus on the immediate, ongoing, news revolution that we wanted to take a step back, take the long view.

"To do this we headed out to wonderful, wind swept Colindale, the British newspaper library stranded in the nether regions of the Northern line. Here we looked at national newspapers from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

"Two changes were particularly striking (apart from the ballooning number of pages and supplements):

  • The fall in the extent and prominence of international reporting
  • The fall in the extent of regional news
"We left the regional news for now (that’s for a separate report), and decided to concentrate on international reporting."
  • The period covered by the MST research coincides with the ending of national newspaper edtions being produced in Manchester, which used to contain more regional news than those produced in London.

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