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Independent news nears wipeout: Three-quarters of outlets at risk of closure

Common issues faced by independent publishers include plummeting ad sales, both online and in print, and the suspension of print distribution services during the lockdown.

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News providers from across the UK, including Now Then, responded to the survey. Photo by Warofdreams (Wikimedia Commons).

75% of independent news providers are at risk of closure due to coronavirus, further compounding the decline of local journalism across the UK.

53 providers, including Now Then, responded to a survey carried out by the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) in association with independent media regulator IMPRESS.

94% of respondents said they expected coronavirus to have a 'negative' or 'very negative' impact on their organisation, while three-quarters said they feared a temporary or permanent closure.

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"It's utterly devastating," said one publisher. "We are watching the 14 years of hard work and dedication we've put into building this publication and bringing change to news reporting in our area fall apart in front of our eyes in a matter of weeks."

The survey also found that 80% of respondents do not have insurance to cover the crisis, while 65% believe that the government is not doing enough to help journalism survive.

Independent news providers range from national to hyperlocal organisations, as well as specialists in investigate journalism and publications aimed at BAME communities.

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Common issues faced by independent publishers include plummeting ad sales, both online and in print, and the suspension of print distribution services during the lockdown.

Now Then is channelling its output onto the Now Then App and the upcoming Now Then website relaunch to support community responses to the coronavirus outbreak.

If you're a citizen of Sheffield with something to say, or a charity that want to get the word out about how others can help, contact us at flick@weareopus.org

Filed under: #Coronavirus

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