About ICNN

Independent community and hyperlocal news outlets are fulfilling the traditional role of the fourth estate in local civic society, complimenting the diverse range of news provision available.

The growth of these new outlets represents a shift in attitudes towards news consumption. Audiences want local knowledge, intimacy, trust, connections; they want to know who their local journalist is; they want to be involved. Audiences want what hyperlocals are offering and are increasingly turning away from the multitude of high-powered, ad-driven alternatives that are concentrated in just a few companies.

Independent community news outlets play a huge role in local democracy. In many areas they are the only journalists attending local council meetings, local planning meetings, schools, elections, magistrates’ courts hearings, and holding those in power to account; helping foster shared identity and social cohesion. There are areas where, if the hyperlocal ceased to exist, town and city leaders would operate unchecked.

The challenge is that the business model that sustained news production in the 20th century no longer exists. Advertising revenues have dwindled making it a very unpredictable source of income. They don’t have the infrastructure or state support (VAT exemption, access to statutory public notices) that helps to sustain larger organisations. Because many of these titles are run by individuals with full-time jobs and family commitments there is a very real risk of burn-out and/or collapse.

However, and perhaps because of these issues, the sector has shown itself to be tenacious and innovative, constantly looking for way to modernise practices and streamline operations. The Independent Community News Network (ICNN) exists to support this diverse sector and to promote quality journalism, help address the democratic deficit in news poor communities and help create more jobs at the local level.

The Power Of Community..

We are the voice of over 100 community news outlets. From the Shetland Islands to the Southern tip of Cornwall, from Northern Ireland to north Wales, our members span the length and breadth of the UK.

Members of ICNN are independent of commercial, political and religious interests. They are community focused and are producing contemporaneous news content. All uphold high professional standards, including accuracy, transparency, integrity, accountability and fairness. They have committed to adhere to Ipso’s Editor’s Code of Practice or the Impress Standards Code and all demonstrate a clear and transparent management/ownership structure. Our members are fully inclusive of all ethnicities and backgrounds and are nondiscriminatory.

While the majority of our titles are geographically 'hyperlocal', other members represent communities of interest, such as the Ferret, or Hold the Front Page. Nearly half of our members have either complimentary print newspapers, or publish a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly newspaper exclusively.

ICNN Charter
Membership Map

“We were honoured to be the first member of ICNN and it’s been brilliant to see it lobby and fight on behalf of so many community media organisations like ourselves. ICNN provides a vital unified voice for so many disparate communities across the UK. Can’t wait for the next 100 to sign up.”

John Baron - West Leeds Dispatch

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