The Wokingham Paper

Wokingham.Today receives emergency grant to support its reporting work during the coronavirus pandemic

Wokingham.Today has received an emergency grant towards its work reporting across Wokingham borough during the coronavirus pandemic

YOUR favourite weekly newspaper has been given an emergency grant from the Public Interest News Foundation.

In all, 89 organisations applied for £3,000 funding, which was supported by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. We were one of 20 selected by a panel that included Dame Frances Cairncross, who chaired the panel.

The successful applicants will also benefit from a programme of professional development, with support from international journalism experts and innovators.

Dame Cairncross said: “The response to the PINF Emergency Fund was overwhelming: 89 different small newsgroups applied for a grant. And as the review of the applications proved, there is huge creativity in the newsrooms of small publishers across the UK.”

With quality independent journalism under threat as a result of the pandemic, there has never been a more pressing time for communities to get behind their local newspapers.

Jonathan Heawood, executive director of PINF, said: “This is a great start, but there’s so much more to do to support independent public interest journalism in the UK.

“Everyone has a role to play – big tech, government, philanthropists and the established news media.

“We all need to pull together if we want to see a positive future for journalism.”

The grant has been welcomed by David Riley, publisher of Wokingham.Today.

“This has been a welcome boost for us,” he said. “During the pandemic, we have furloughed staff and seen advertising revenues decline as businesses were closed.

“The grant and the training will make a big difference to us.

“We are proud to be Wokingham borough’s trusted news resource — our growing readership, especially online shows how much we are valued by the community.

“The training provided by PINF will enable us to improve our offering.”

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