How to reach out to a local newsroom

By 15/04/2021Tips

Got a story to share but don’t know where to start contacting your local news outlets? IMIX Strategic Communications Manager, Julia Rampen, shares some useful insights into two different types of local news journalists and why they might be interested in the stories which you have to share.

Many stories about asylum or immigration touch on traumatic issues, and charities and support workers are understandably nervous about trusting a reporter with something so sensitive. Others may be important but very complex, and require the kind of journalistic digging that many reporters just don’t have the time to put in. 

Luckily, there are two types of reporters who can spend the time and effort to get these kinds of stories right – and they may be in a newsroom near you.  

If you’re thinking of speaking to a local newspaper, but you don’t know who to contact, these types of reporters may be your best resource. 

Facebook Community Reporters 

Facebook is funding community reporters across local newsrooms in the UK. These reporters are tasked with reporting on communities underserved by the current media. It’s up to the individual newspapers what this means, but many of these reporters focus on marginalised neighbourhoods, or specific communities, such as BAME or LGBTQ+ populations within a local area. 

There isn’t a single directory where you can find them all (a list of some of the newspapers that have taken them on is included at the bottom of the post), but if you check your local newspaper’s Contact page, or look up reporters on Twitter, you can usually find out if there is a Community Reporter.  

Because they focus on specific groups, Community Reporters can’t write about everything or anything – but if you do have a story that falls under their remit, then they are more likely to be able to give it the time and attention it deserves. They are also likely to value the contacts they make in a local area as they will need to return to them time and again.  

Local Democracy Reporters 

Local Democracy Reporters are funded by the BBC but they work in local newsrooms. They report on local authorities and other public services in local areas. As a result, they are experts on council processes and understand how to turn something that sounds dry and technical into a compelling story. 

Although Local Democracy Reporters focus on councils, they have also reported on the housing situation of asylum seekers. They are a great resource for an organisation that has identified a problem with the provision of services, as they know how to stand up a news story and they have the time to pursue it. 

While your local newspaper may have a political slant, Local Democracy Reporters are expected to follow the same code of neutrality that broadcasters do. So while they are invaluable if you have a story that you can back up with evidence, you can’t expect them to write a story based on political views alone.  

Newspapers that have taken on Facebook Community Reporters 

Worcester News 

The Argus (Brighton) 

Western Telegraph 

News Shopper 

News & Star 

Glasgow Evening Times 

The Leader 

Swindon Advertiser 

Oxford Mail 

Bournemouth Echo 

Telegraph & Argus 

Northern Echo 

Southern Daily Echo 

Lancashire Telegraph 

Hereford Times 

South Wales Argus 

Bucks Free Press 

Reading Chronicle 

Kent Messenger 

Barnsley Chronicle 

Maidenhead Advertiser 

Newbury News 

Eastern Daily Press 

East Anglian Daily Times 

Hackney Gazette 

Shropshire Star 

Express and Star 

The Star (Sheffield) 

Wakefield Express 

Scarborough Evening News 

The Edinburgh Evening News 

The News (Portsmouth) 

The Lancashire Post 

Doncaster Free press 

The Sunderland Echo 

The Peterborough Telegraph 

The Blackpool Gazette 

Mansfield Chad 

Telegraph (Kettering) 

The Northumberland Gazette 

The Fife Free Press 

Mid Sussex Times 

The MK Citizen 

Manchester Evening News 

ChronicleLive (Newcastle) 


Liverpool Echo 

Wales Online 

Leicester Mercury 

Bristol Post/Bristol Live 


Media Wales 

StokeonTrentLive/The Sentinel 

Coventry Live 




SurreyLive (website)/Surrey Advertiser/Surrey Mirror 


LincolnshireLive (Lincoln) 

Daily Post 


Cornwall Live 

Cambridge News 

MyLondon (Lower Thames Street) 

Author Julia Rampen

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