Trinity Mirror’s decision to completely close the 150+ year old Liverpool Post was a shock in December, but is surely a sign of further consolidation in the local newspaper sector in 2014.
Not good news for journalists, newspaper readers or local democracy. All those local councilors who regularly blast their local media for “getting everything wrong” and misrepresenting them might start having different concerns if their local paper suddenly disappears.
The challenge then for local authorities, as for companies, is to build their own networks online and communicate directly with residents and businesses. Many are ahead of the game – look at the social media presence of the likes of Monmouthshire or Northumberland or the excellent case studies showcased in the Comms2point0 blog – and you can see the great work already happening.
For those behind the curve the culture change and resources required to deliver social media services effectively can prove a shock, but with local media ever further stretched it is local authorities’ online networks that will become the key communications platforms as we move throughout 2014.