The Media Trust is today closing its Community Newswire service as a result of the Government spending review. Established in 2004, the free service helps charities and communities get their stories into the national and regional press by enabling people to submit stories and press releases online which are then written up by Press Association journalists and sent to hundreds of newsrooms throughout the country.
Caroline Diehl, Chief Executive of Media Trust, said: “The Government spending review has resulted in a number of service cuts and unfortunately this includes our hugely popular and invaluable Community Newswire. I strongly urge the Government to reconsider this decision.
“We are actively seeking replacement funds and it is absolutely our intention to reintroduce this much needed service as soon as we are able. In the meantime, charities are able to access our other services including expert-led training, free communications advice and online resources.”
The Community Newswire has helped 4,000 charities and community groups get their voice heard, carrying over 10,000 news stories every year. According to BBC Research, 66% of these are from hard to reach groups.
The service has been provided at no charge to charities and was funded by the Cabinet Office.
Diehl pointed to the service’s track record. She said: “86% of Community Newswire users have told us that their published stories raised awareness of their causes and 72% said Community Newswire stories led to an increase in enquiries to their organisation. Services such as Community Newswire are vital for charities in the current economic climate.”