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Meta expands UK Community News Project

Meta has increased its backing for the UK Community News Project from £4.5m to £6m, with 14 more publishers, including DC Thomson and Tindle Newspapers, joining the scheme.

Meta expands UK Community News Project

The expansion will create 18 new journalism jobs, taking the number of Meta-funded community reporters working across the UK to 100.

Scott Wood, Tindle’s managing director, said: “We know how important truly local news is, as our company has lived by that mantra for many years. Being part of, participating in and caring about the communities that we serve is at the very heart of what we do.

“This scheme enables our company to employ more journalists and increase our truly local coverage, while also sustaining our aim to ensure that small communities stay connected and remain informed.”

Frank O’Donnell, editor in chief of DC Thomson’s Aberdeen-based dailies the Press & Journal and Evening Express, said: “People want to see news that matters to them and this only happens through community reporters who really understand the issues and can talk to readers in a voice they recognise.

“That’s why we’re delighted to be involved with this project because it aligns so closely with P&J values and allows us to put more eyes and ears on the ground in specific areas that are undeserved.”

Sarah Brown, head of local news partnerships for 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: “We had the challenge of making sure the funding goes where it will be effective so it had to be a rigorous tender process, which involved some tough decisions. Those who were successful put forward the best proposals for recruiting, training and qualifying people who will benefit their communities.”

She added: “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.

“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.

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