When we started our research on the social value of journalism in 2019, it was in a pre-covid world; the findings were to be published just before lockdown. Had we conducted the survey in a post-covid world, one in which we have all come to better appreciate living on a more local level, it is likely that our findings would have shown an even stronger correlation between local journalism and community wellbeing.
As it is, our findings reveal that the benefit of local journalism extends well beyond its primary role of upholding truth and ensuring people are informed; it also offers important and measurable benefits in terms of supporting the local economy, strengthening community cohesion, and increasing community spirit and wellbeing.
These results were based on an extensive consultation of 200 readers of our flagship title Roman Road LDN, a publication that serves a population of 40,000 in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in East London, UK. All responses were gathered anonymously.