This year’s Talking News Federation Conference was held in October in Coventry, and was attended by Helen McIntosh, Chairman of the Mid Devon Messenger.  

The Federation generally, and talking newspapers specifically, are facing challenging times.  Local journalism has been hard hit by falling advertising revenue and declining readership.  Reach plc, one of the UK’s biggest newspaper groups, is moving away from traditional newspapers to live streaming.  They are cutting 600 jobs. 

It remains for talking newspapers, such as the Mid Devon Messenger, to proactively plan for the possible loss of the Tiverton Gazette. 

Peter White, Federation President, led the main conference session on ‘Creating Your Own Content’.  Peter said, ‘There is scope for our visually impaired recipients to generate content.  Many have hobbies and experiences of health care, transport, housing, libraries and interesting life stories to tell.’

Helen said, ‘Local news will always be there.  It’s question of finding it and generating content in a manageable and sustainable way.’

Watch this space!