How Digital is Reviving Regional News

Enjoy Digital
By Enjoy Digital
5 minutes to read

Over the last few years, there has been a decline in print newspaper sales, with readers choosing to browse the news online either on a laptop or tablet or, more likely, their phones.

Most regional titles have seen an average drop of 10% in sales year-on-year. Even national newspapers, such as the Independent, is scrapping its print edition to become a solely digital news outlet as it saw its online audience grow 33% during 2015. With job losses and less people picking up their local paper on a daily basis, regional newspapers have been changing to maximise their digital presence.

Revival

However, an article by Prolific North published figures released by ABC that show that regional newspapers have turned a corner in regards to growing digitally. The Manchester Evening News grew its online audience by more than 30%, and saw its Facebook page increase its likes 62% to total more than one million. It’s now the largest online regional newspaper outlet and has over 11 million unique browsers.

Facebook is proving to be a more utilised platform for daily regional newspapers to boost their exposure - Chronicle Live in Newcastle saw a 94% growth year-on-year for Facebook, and Huddersfield Daily Examiner was up 90% for the same period. The Southport Visiter showed the biggest growth in unique daily users, with 192% year-on-year.

Social Media

The Blackpool Gazette recently showed off their digital savvy by live broadcasting the demolition of three tower blocks on Facebook. The broadcast achieved over 1.2m reach; with 445,000 views, 17,000 likes, 10,000 comments and 7,000 shares in 36 hours - the highest they’ve ever seen.

Although it’s difficult to see how much revenue social media and online viewing will be generating for these publications, by increasing their digital presence through social, paywalls, online advertising and, more recently, native advertising – regional newspapers are proving themselves to be keeping up with the ever-changing digital world.

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