The executive director of the Society of Editors, Bob Satchwell, is backing calls for a “resurgence of local ownership” in the local newspaper industry.
Writing in a new book on the industry, Satchwell says there is “some force” in the idea that the big regional press groups should quit the stage if they no longer want to publish the
forthcoming book – ‘What Do We Mean By Local’ - has been compiled by former regional editor Neil Fowler and journalism lecturer John Mair.
In his Nuffield Lecture last November. Fowler claimed it was time to return the industry to local ownership and called on his former employers, DMGT, to lead the way.
Satchwell points out: “There is some force in the idea promulgated by Neil Fowler that the big regional groups should get out of the way if they no longer want to publish local papers themselves.
“While consolidation has been the watchword over the past couple of decades, and may still have a place, so does a resurgence of localism in terms of ownership.
He said that every gap left by a former closed-down newspaper was an opportunity – and that journalists and former editors are already filling those gaps with hyperlocal websites.
“More should grasp the nettle, as should local entrepreneurs who want to make a mark in their communities,” he added.