Social: The local news stories which got people talking


Every week, millions – yes, millions – of people get news and information from the local Press via social media. And that makes the local Press every bit as important to local life as it ever was. But what were the stories that really got people talking? Using various data tools, this list looks at the stories which really captured people’s attention over the past seven days, thanks to the hard work of those working in the regional press:

Like the regional press, cinemas and the film industry regularly get written off. But, if the popularity of this post from the Sheffield Star is anything to go by, neither have too much to worry about:


It’s a crazy story which demonstrates the importance of live reporting. Within 40 minutes of the closure being posted on Cineworld’s Facebook page, it had been updated to say the ‘health and safety reason’ was actually a ‘technical difficulty’ and the cinema had re-opened.

The Star reported that: 

The latest post reads: “We are open, a little technical gremlin doesn’t stop us for long.”

Long enough to become a real talking point, however, and plenty of speculation that the health and safety problem was someone being taken ill due to the high prices of the pick and mix at the cinema. Seriously though, it’s a great example of what local news does now: Reporting up to the second, getting to the heart of something everyone is talking about, even if it’s only for a short period of time.

It’s not the only film-related story to have appealed on social media this week. In Edinburgh, the chance to be an extra in the new Avengers films was too much for many people to resist:

Away from the big screen, it’s the chance to help play a part in solving crime in real life which regularly gets the attention of local people. CCTV appeals used to be grout fodder in print, but online it’s a very different story in terms of popularity amongst readers, as this high-performing example from the Ipswich Star revealed this week:

Using your mobile phone while driving became more of a criminal offence this week, and it’s a story which captured a lot of attention in Essex:

Missing from home appeals often resonate with readers in a way which perhaps was never reflected in the billing journalists traditionally gave them. To me, a sure sign that local communities still pull together to try and deliver happy endings, as seen this week in Teesside:


and also in Derbyshire:

And, indeed, Birmingham:

And in some cases, for community spirit, we also see community pride. Or in the case of WalesOnline on St David’s Day, national pride:

With a similar sense of pride delivering one of the biggest audiences to the Daily Post on Facebook this week:


In Liverpool this week, the major news story was about a collapsed wall blocking trains in and out of Liverpool Lime Street station. The thirst for news and information was massive, as I saw in the Echo’s audience numbers this week. The ability to find humour in a problem rarely gets lost on Facebook:

Weddings, too, often raise a smile, and for anyone who frowns at regional media making the most of local celebrities, you only have to see how well this post travelled to know it pays to listen to readers:

And (almost) finally, for this week at least, proof that heartwarming still means a lot to readers, as this high-performing social story from the Chichester observer demonstrated:

And (really) finally, here’s proof that we all still love a happy ending:


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