The provincial press in England

An overview

Authored by: Rachel Matthews

The Routledge Companion to British Media History

Print publication date:  September  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415537186
eBook ISBN: 9781315756202
Adobe ISBN: 9781317629474


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It is not just Mark Twain who has been prematurely killed off. His riposte, to his own obituary in the New York Journal of 2 June 1897 that “the report of my death has been greatly exaggerated,” might equally be applied to the provincial press. Few industries have been subject to such dire predictions as the local and regional newspaper industry. The current climate for local papers, often dismissed as ‘rags’, is no different. Typical of this is the attitude of media analysts FTI Consulting whose 2013 report tells of an industry in terminal decline; yet from other perspectives the provincial press remains successful. The website for the Newspaper Society (n.d.) lists 1,100 regional and local newspapers with 1,600 associated websites. The print products boast 31 million readers a week – more than the combined readership for the national press. And as I write, the business continues to yield substantial, albeit declining, profits.

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