Wednesday 23 September 2009

Charity to back PA's 'public service reporting'

Roy Greenslade in his Evening Standard column today says that the Press Association is just "days away" from getting funding from a charitable source to introduce “public service reporting”.
He says once funds are available, adverts will be placed to recruit staff for the pilot project in the Merseyside region in association with Liverpool Echo publisher Trinity Mirror.
"The idea is that the new team of public service reporters will then put up their copy on a dedicated portal that will allow any news outlet, whether it be a Trinity Mirror title, a national paper or an individual blogging outfit, to publish the content free of charge.
"It is an imaginative attempt to overcome the worrying prospect of courts, councils and other public bodies going unreported as traditional news organisations cut back on their reporting staffs."
Greenslade adds: "News has always been costly to provide, a fact concealed by the funding of advertising. Now that ad income is drying up, we are finally discovering that news comes at a price. It is a sobering thought that we may have to rely on charity and, ultimately, State funding to give us the news in future."


Rich Simcox said...

Jon, I'd be interested in your view on this. On the face of it, it's laudable.

But something's not right is it. PA, obviously owned by the big regionals, 'giving away' copy to the big regionals - sweetening the pill even more by saying bloggers can use it too - so they don't have to re-employ reporters when the recession ends.

I may be just a young cynic. But it whiffs a bit round ere...

Jon Slattery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon Slattery said...

My view is that when a great regional newspaper like the Manchester Evening News is reduced to less than 10 reporters and has no staff photographers a lot of local news stories,like those from courts and councils,are going unreported.
I think alternatives like that proposed by PA have to be considered to keep local news alive.
The regional press is in an unprecedented crisis and it seems, from Roy's story, that PA will advertise for new staff.
By all means be cynical but there are very few alternatives being tried to the current broken model, so perhaps it should be given a chance.
Jobs for journalists is always good news.

23 September 2009 18:47

GK said...

Both of you guys have a point! Keep them coming!