Local News Partnership Expands With More Reporters

The Local News Partnership between the BBC and the News Media Association has expanded with more reporters covering more councils in even more parts of the country.

 The LNP is a strategic partnership which sees the BBC fund journalists to cover the work of local councils and other local public bodies.

These Local Democracy Reporters provide vital scrutiny of decisions made on the public’s behalf and the journalism they produce is made available to the BBC and local news outlets across the UK.

It was announced earlier this year that the scheme was to be expanded with an additional 15 journalist roles, taking the total to 165 across the UK.

Contracts for the next three years started in July and were issued to a total of 18 media organisations. All 118 contracts to recruit Local Democracy Reporters were allocated to organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland following a competitive bidding process.

There are now journalists right across the UK including for the first time in The Orkney Islands and Newry, Mourne and Down in Northern Ireland. 

The extra 15 reporter roles will help provide increased coverage of second-tier council authorities in the majority of English county council areas.

Matthew Barraclough, editor of the BBC’s Local News Partnerships, said: “More Local Democracy Reporters and a longer contract period is great news not just for the newsrooms which employ them, but also for the hundreds of newsrooms that receive their stories. The work of the LDRs continues to show that this type of collaboration can produce quality content on a nationwide scale.”

Editorial director at Illiffe Media Ian Carter, chair of the NMA/BBC Advisory Panel, said: “The expansion of the Local Democracy Reporting Service is a very welcome development which will further strengthen the local news media sector’s ability to provide high-quality local public interest journalism for communities right across the country.”   

The full list of new Local Democracy Reporting Service contract holders can be found here