Two new community reporter roles have been created at the Press and Journal through a partnership with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and Meta (formerly Facebook).
DC Thomson is one of 14 publishers who now join the Community News Project (CNP), which began in 2019. The scheme expands with £6 million funding from Meta, creating 18 additional community reporter roles across the country.
The Press and Journal will have two new reporters covering the Western Isles, Fort William, Lochaber and Skye as part of the scheme which aims to support quality local journalism, report on underserved communities and improve the diversity of UK newsrooms.
The P&J applied to join the scheme, demonstrating how the CNP reporters would engage a currently underserved community and/or location, as well as detailing how they would be supported in the newsroom and with their NCTJ training.
Frank O’Donnell, editor in chief of The Press and Journal and Evening Express at DC Thomson, said: “People want to see news that matters to them, and this only happens through community reporters who really understand the issues and can talk to readers in a voice they recognise.
“That’s why we’re delighted to be involved with this project because it aligns so closely with P&J values and allows us to put more eyes and ears on the ground in specific areas that are underserved.”
Sarah Brown, head of local news partnerships, northern Europe at Meta, said: “At the heart of the CNP is a goal to surface real life stories from under-represented groups. We look forward to working with the NCTJ and our publishing partners in onboarding a new cohort of trainees who will share stories and viewpoints that don’t often get told.”
Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “This brilliant project continues to be a success story for the industry thanks to Meta’s on-going investment and the support of the publishers involved in the scheme.”
The Press & Journal’s community reporter roles will be advertised in the coming weeks.