With print circulations going down, and tools online making it possible for anyone, anywhere to launch a campaign, how does a local newspaper ensure its campaigns still get attention and, most importantly, get results?
Simple: They innovate. And in this age of austerity, areas outside of London have perhaps never needed a campaigning voice which can turn heads as much as they do now
A rather remarkable thing happened the other week. The Northern Echo carried a splash which included the mastheads of pretty much every other newspaper in the north east. The Journal – its traditional rival – carried the same story. And it also appeared on the front page of various other daily titles – including the Evening Gazette in Teesside and the Sunderland Echo – and took up pages in The Chronicle in Newcastle and the Shields Gazette. And as the week continued, the same story was covered in a variety of weeklies.
The reason? As reported by Hold The Front Page, the region’s newspapers are lining up together to fight for a better deal for the North East from Government. In short, they feel they are being short-changed by Westminster, and there’s a lot of evidence to support that argument. Their solution is to see more power over public sector spending devolved to the region. It’s a very sound argument, backed up by political heavyweights such as Lord Heseltine, who has already identified £70bn which should be allocated to regional Local Enterprise Partnerships.