Media Art and Design Research Blog

The State of Local News: Bright Future or Dark Times?


The State of Local News: Bright Future or Dark Times?

The Centre for Research on Communities and Cultures is holding a public event on 25 January  to explore the state of local news.

The event starting at 3pm Canterbury Christ Church University’s Canterbury campus, Powell Building, has been organised by academics from Christ Church’s School of Media, Art and Design.

Lead organiser Professor Agnes Gulyas, Reader in Digital Transformations, said:

“There are those who say local news is dead. Yet more people than ever are engaging with the digital offering of their legacy publishers and we see huge amounts of engagement in community issues on social media.The Canterbury Residents’ Group, for example, has 15,000 members and is a constant stream of local news, debate and discussion. We want to explore the state of local news in this event with those working in journalism, the wider media industry and, of course, the public.”

Speakers at the event include KM Group editorial director Ian Carter, Will Roffey from the BBC, Tony Green from ITV, Keith Magnum (Hackney Citizen), Kathy Bailes (Isle of Thanet News), Edd Withers (Canterbury Resident FacebookGroup); as well as Canterbury City Council head of communications Leo Whitlock, Sarah Munday (Marlowe Theatre), Eleanor Sheath (Pilgrims Hospice), Mark Cowland from Catching Lives, Andrew Metcalf from Maxim PR and Kent County Councillor Mike Whiting.

They will consider questions such as:

  • What is local news in the digital age? Is local news dead or stronger than ever?
  • What are the key challenges currently for local news and media?
  • Does online local news serve the communities better than traditional forms?
  • Are local media today better at holding local power to account compared to twenty years ago?
  • Who are local media in the digital age? Are social media local media?

The event is free however organisers have asked those interested to register for catering purposes.

‘The state of local news: Bright future or dark times?’ will see senior journalists, media professionals and key stakeholders consider the role of local and regional journalism today in two round-table discussions.


See also Professor Gulyas’s <a href=”″>Expert Comment</a>

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