Local News Partnership Opened to BAME Organisations

The BBC and the News Media Association have agreed to open the Local News Partnership Scheme to news platforms aimed at ethnic minority audiences, having previously been focused on geographical areas.

Launched at the beginning of 2018, the Local News Partnership is a collaboration between the BBC and the NMA and sees the BBC fund local, public interest journalism across the UK and includes the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The BBC funds up to 150 reporters to report on local authorities. Employed by the publishers, reporters are deployed in regional newsrooms and report to editors at their host title, but everything they write is published to a news wire for use by any approved news outlet, including local media publishers and the BBC.

Currently there more than 900 approved local news outlets signed up to the partnership – ranging from hyperlocal websites to established regional newspapers.

Now BAME publications – print, online, radio or TV – can apply to be a partner, meaning they will have access to the journalism produced by the Local Democracy Reporting Service and other benefits of being a partner.  

Jeremy Clifford, chair of the NMA/BBC advisory panel and editor-in-chief of JPI Media  said:  “We were very happy to work with the BBC to find new ways of extending the partnership to open the first class content supply to news outlets representing BAME groups. The more inclusive the partnership, the wider the reach of the content.”

The BBC has committed up to £8 million a year to fund the LNP, which sees 3,500 stories published or broadcast items created in a single week.

Ken MacQuarrie, drector of BBC Nations and Regions, said: “This change means media outlets that serve BAME communities, wherever they are located, can have access to our local news partnership.

“For them, it’s an exciting opportunity to receive a wealth of great local journalism. For us, it is the chance to ensure our journalism is seen by more people and to support a broader range of news platforms.”