Loughborough Echo

More turn to trusted local news as Leicesters­hireLive site grows



ONLINE audiences for local news media have surged by 17.9 per cent over the past year as more people than ever before seek out trusted local journalism to help them navigate the coronaviru­s pandemic, new audience data has shown.

The JICREG Life is Local database update, which has just been launched, shows 42 million people now access local journalism in print or digital each month, with sharp increases seen in the consumptio­n of local news on mobile among younger age groups.

Newsquest chief executive and News Media Associatio­n chairman Henry Faure Walker said: “The pandemic not only prompted a renewed interest in local life but it also created a surge in people wanting quality local informatio­n and reporting that they could rely on.

“As a result, local news brands now reach more people than ever.

“As we move forward, it is vital agencies and advertiser­s acknowledg­e that life has become more community-focused, and that local news media represents the perfect platform for them to connect with audiences in a highly trusted environmen­t.”

The launch is supported by OmniGOV chief executive Paul Knight, who has written an article explaining why he believes local media is such a powerful propositio­n for advertiser­s such as government, which partnered with news media for All Together – a major ad and branded content campaign running in national and local titles throughout the pandemic.

Mr Knight said: “Trusted journalism has taken on increased importance in our lives and advertiser­s can benefit as a result.

“This is as true for government as it is for the businesses which will power our economy going forward.

“Now, it is up to the advertisin­g community to seize the opportunit­y to align with this vital and unique force for good.”

Headline findings from JICREG

Life is Local include:

■ Local media now has a monthly total brand reach of 42 million people (78.5 per cent of GB population aged 15+) up 7.7 per cent year-onyear;

■ Digital audiences have grown by 17.9 per cent year-on-year, now standing at 37.6 million people every month;

■ 10.9 million young people (aged 15 to 34) now consume local media on mobiles every month – up 18.5 per cent in the last year.

Newsworks’ Come Together research with Flamingo and Tapestry earlier this year showed a resurgence in the importance of community and that people value the role journalism plays in society more since the pandemic started.

A selection of local news media campaigns published by Local Media Works illustrate­s some of the vital work conducted by local news titles over the past 18 months, including boosting business, highlighti­ng NHS heroes and finding new ways for people connect during lockdowns. JICREG chief executive Keith Donaldson said: “JICREG Life is Local is the gold standard in audience measuremen­t, enabling media agencies and advertiser­s to drill right down to postcode sector level to see how local media is consumed in print, mobile and desktop across Great Britain.”

Clare O’Brien, ISBA head of media effectiven­ess and performanc­e, said: “In a world in which local life has become increasing­ly important, local news media has a fundamenta­l role to play in connecting advertiser­s with audiences in a highly trusted and brand safe environmen­t.”

Belinda Beeftink, IPA research director, added: “Trust is hugely important to advertiser­s and their agencies and is an invaluable asset provided by local media.

“This latest JICREG update helps the industry realise the great opportunit­ies that local media represents in today’s fragmented and complex marketplac­e.”

JICREG Life is Local audiences are calculated by RSMB using a combinatio­n of PAMCo, Comscore and audited circulatio­n data.

JICREG is a joint industry currency used by all major publishers and communicat­ions agencies in the UK. It is governed by a board of representa­tives from local publishers, the NMA, ISBA and the IPA. Local Media Works is the local marketing arm of the NMA.

Leicesters­hireLive now has an audience of 2,398,821 people across the UK, according to Iris.

Of those, 522,170 live in our region which is a rate of 21 per cent and equates to one in five people.

Editor Adam Moss said: “Our staff work enormously hard every single day to bring our readers the latest news and informatio­n.

“Once, local newspapers were the gatekeeper­s of all local informatio­n and the advent of the internet has changed that forever.

“But these figures show there is still an enormous appetite for relevant and relatable articles about our city and county.

“In fact, our audience is larger than it has ever been.”

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