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.”