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20 February 2020

NMA Very Disappointed Future News Fund Bypasses Local Media Industry

The pilot Future News Fund has failed to include established local news media publishers as grant recipients following the announcement of the 19 successful projects.

Run by Nesta and funded by the DCMS, the fund received 178 applications from a range of organisations, from local and national newsrooms to technology start-ups, however, it neglected to reward any direct grants to local media publishers.

In a statement, the NMA said: “It is very disappointing that the Future News Fund, overseen by Nesta, has bypassed the local news media industry by failing to directly award it any grants.

“Local newsbrands reach 40.6 million people a month and create and deliver innovative projects in newsrooms across the UK. Importantly, local news publishers employ the vast majority of local journalists in the UK and are critical to the sustainability of local public interest news. But many of these established titles need some short-term support, over the next two to three years, to help them bridge the gap to a more sustainable future.

“We hope that, if the Future News Fund develops from a pilot into an ongoing fund, it will build on the existing infrastructure, talent and expertise which is delivering local journalism today by partnering with established local news media providers.”