Highlights Nearly half of all editors believe their papers’ relationship with readers had been negatively affected by the Leveson Inquiry.Just 8% of editors believe it is getting easier to get information from local public bodies. More than a quarter of local newspapers have received a threat from a public body to suspend advertising as a result of journalistic activity. The number of local newspapers using Twitter to report from public meetings has nearly tripled in three years – 57% in 2013 compared to 21% in 2010.
Public Bodies “It seems that these authorities' only aim is to protect their reputations rather than give useful information out to the public. Often this manifests itself in simply not getting back to us on queries and hoping we'll go away.”“The police and councils are more remote than before.” “The level and quantity of information given out by police now is a joke. Only a tiny percentage of reported crime is ever volunteered to the press and there's a generally slow and obstructive response when we make enquiries about crimes we know have occurred.”
Public Bodies • Local newspapers attend a minimum of 2 meetings of public bodies each month with half attending between 6 and 15 meetings. • 37% of local newspapers send a reporter to cover a criminal court every day of the working week.
Public Bodies • 57% of local newspapers use technology such as Twitter to report live from these meetings – up from 21% three years ago. • 84% of local newspapers publish editorial video footage on their websites.
Press Freedom • All of those who said yes said the papers’ relationship had been affected negatively rather than positively.
Press Freedom • “The proposal for an arbitration arm for any new regulator is a clear and present danger to the future of the local press and is a sure-fire way of lawyers making money out of us.” • “There's no doubt that readers are more suspicious of journalists as a result of Leveson, the evidence and the findings.” • “There are readers - including local councillors, for instance - who have failed to make the distinction intellectually between national and local press and we have therefore been tarred with the same brush.”
Methodology The NS conducted an online survey of member editors of daily and weekly regional and local newspapers in March 2013, prior to publication of the Government’s Royal Charter for press regulation. 37 editors completed an online questionnaire which was emailed to all editors listed on the NS database.