UK local newspaper closures: Net loss of 245 titles since 2005, new Press Gazette research

Some 43 UK local news titles closed in 2018, but  29 were launched, leaving a net loss of 14 titles, according to new Press Gazette research.

The figure tallies closures against launches reported across Press Gazette and Hold The Front Page, treating editions of newspapers as separate titles.

The research comes as the Cairncross Review into the future of the UK news industry in the digital age delivers its report.

There were some 275 announced editorial job losses in 2018, with Reach (formerly Trinity Mirror) accounting for about 140 of them as it undergoes a nationwide restructure, splitting its print and online operations.

More than 50 jobs were created, however, leaving a net loss of about 222. Again this only tallies reported losses and new roles covered by Press Gazette and HTFP, with the actual figure likely to be higher.

From 2005 to the end of 2018 there has been a net loss of 245 UK local news titles, according to Press Gazette research.

Among the title closures last year was Midlands News Association’s Chronicle series of seven newspapers, Newsquest’s merger of three east London titles into one, and the closure of the independent View From series, which produced eight free weekly newspapers, in the West Country.

A number of titles, such as the Darlington Despatch and the Shropshire Weekly, closed within a year of being launched.

Also among them was non-profit news magazine the Croydon Citizen, whose editor said Facebook and Google – known collectively as the Duopoly – had “won the battle for eyeballs”.

Local newspaper closures in 2017 and 2016 have previously been compiled by Press Gazette.

Picture: Pixabay


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