Having the trust of millions

LOCAL Newspaper Week is an annual celebration of the regional press and this year runs between May 21-27.

It also comes just a week after the Mail celebrated its own 135th birthday on May 14.

Local Newspaper Week: The Hartlepool Mail website.

Local Newspaper Week: The Hartlepool Mail website.

The industry has faced numerous challenges since the majority of local papers were first printed in the 19th Century.

But a series of statistics released by the organisers of Local Newspaper Week, the Newspaper Society, indicate that the regional press is still a force trusted by millions of people nationwide.

1 Just under 33 million people read a local newspaper every week, making it the most widely read print medium in Britain;

2 There are 1,100 local newspapers and 1,600 associated websites in the UK;

3 Local media websites attract 42 million unique users each month;

4 Fourteen million people read a local newspaper but do not read a national newspaper;

5 Seventy-one per cent of adults read a local newspaper.

6 More than 6,100 local newspapers (sold or free) are distributed in the UK every minute;

7 More than 60 per cent of people act on the ads in local newspapers;

8 Advertising on local newspaper websites is 77 per cent more likely to be believed and relied upon than advertising on other websites;

9 More than 13 million more UK adults read a local newspaper (32.9 million) than listen to commercial radio (19.8 million);

10 Local press is the most effective media channel for generating word of mouth conversations.

The theme of this year’s Local Newspaper Week includes looking at how papers are capitalising on the growing feelgood factor triggered by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

Later this week we will be looking at our own London-bound stars and how we will be covering the Games.