Pub­lic In­ter­est News Foun­da­tion backs Wok­ing­ham.

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS -

YOUR favourite weekly pa­per has been given an emer­gency grant from the Pub­lic In­ter­est News Foun­da­tion.

In all, 89 or­gan­i­sa­tions ap­plied for £3,000 fund­ing, which was sup­ported by the Joseph Rown­tree Re­form Trust. We were one of 20 se­lected by a panel that in­cluded Dame Frances Cairn­cross, who chaired the panel.

The suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants will also ben­e­fit from a pro­gramme of pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment, with sup­port from in­ter­na­tional jour­nal­ism ex­perts and in­no­va­tors.

Dame Cairn­cross said: “The re­sponse to the PINF Emer­gency Fund was over­whelm­ing: 89 dif­fer­ent small news­groups ap­plied for a grant. And as the re­view of the ap­pli­ca­tions proved, there is huge cre­ativ­ity in the news­rooms of small pub­lish­ers across the UK.”

With qual­ity in­de­pen­dent jour­nal­ism un­der threat as a re­sult of the pan­demic, there has never been a more press­ing time for com­mu­ni­ties to get be­hind their lo­cal news­pa­pers.

Jonathan Hea­wood, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of PINF, said: “This is a great start, but there’s so much more to do to sup­port in­de­pen­dent pub­lic in­ter­est jour­nal­ism in the UK.

“Ev­ery­one has a role to play – big tech, gov­ern­ment, phi­lan­thropists and the es­tab­lished news me­dia.

“We all need to pull to­gether if we want to see a pos­i­tive fu­ture for jour­nal­ism.”

The grant has been wel­comed by David Ri­ley, pub­lisher of Wok­ing­ham. To­day.

“This has been a wel­come boost for us,” he said. “Dur­ing the pan­demic, we have fur­loughed staff and seen ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enues de­cline as busi­nesses were closed.

“The grant and the train­ing will make a big dif­fer­ence to us.

“We are proud to be Wok­ing­ham bor­ough’s trusted news re­source — our grow­ing read­er­ship, es­pe­cially on­line shows how­much we are val­ued by the com­mu­nity.

“The train­ing pro­vided by PINF will en­able us to im­prove our of­fer­ing.”

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