Local News Partnership Welcomes First BAME Publications

The Eastern Eye and Asian Sunday have signed up to the News Media Assocation and BBC’s Local News Partnership scheme, following the announcement in October that the scheme would be opened up to news platforms aimed at ethnic minority audiences.

Readers from the Bradford-based Asian Sunday and London–based Eastern Eye will now get access to the LNP’s three strands: the Shared Data Unit, News Hub and Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

Since the LDRS launched at the start of 2018 more than 125,000 stories have been filed.

Rithika Siddhartha, associate editor of the Eastern Eye, said: “With the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporting Service, we are pleased to supplement our unrivalled coverage of news that engages our readership – from local government to stories of national interest and also international affairs.

“The partnership with the BBC enhances Eastern Eye’s reportage of politics, business and local communities which are at the heart of British society.”

Stories already published by the Eastern Eye include a council warning about toxic body paints being sold at market, a councillor who has been receiving online abuse and the issue of public health funerals.

Jeremy Clifford, chair of the NMA/BBC advisory panel and editor-in-chief of JPI Media,  said: “This is an important milestone for the partnership, ensuring that the local public interest journalism generated by the project will reach new audiences served by these publications.

“I am very pleased to welcome Eastern Eye and Asian Sunday to the Local News Partnerships.”

Ken MacQuarrie, director of Nations & Regions for the BBC, said: “Having BAME publications signed up to the LNP is a big step in ensuring important local stories are read, heard and seen by as many people in as many communities as possible.

“Newsrooms around the globe are having to do more with less, and I’m proud that Britain’s public broadcaster is doing its bit to help support public interest journalism.

“We’d like to encourage more publications aimed at BAME audiences to join. The benefits are clear, with hundreds of stories filed each week on councils, health bodies, police and crime commissioners and other authorities.”