Conference registration

Registration is now open for the conference on September 8. Presenters do not need to register, but anyone else who would like to attend is asked to do so for catering and organizational purposes.

The link for registration is here.


Conference accommodation

The conference organizers have negotiated a preferential rate for a number of rooms for participants at conference at the Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool. The rate is £95 based on single occupancy bed and breakfast for the night of Thursday, September 7 and is available for bookings made before August 10, 2017. For anyone travelling some distance who may want more than one night, please note that this rate applies to bookings for Sunday-Thursday evenings only. To take advantage of this rate please quote reference GQ000274 when making your reservation.

The hotel website is here


Conference programme

We are delighted to have been able to accept a wide range of papers from a large number of submissions to our call for papers. The conference programme promises to explore core issues for research into the provincial news industry from a range of perspectives. The proposed programme is below. Registration for the event will open shortly and the organizers would ask that participants register in order to help us ascertain final numbers. Non-presenters are also welcome  and there is no fee for attendance.

9.30am to 10am:        Arrival and registration.

10am – 11am:            Plenary session. Introduction. Scoping the issues for the regional press. To include Professor Chris Frost, Liverpool John Moores University.

11am- 11.15am:         Coffee break

11.15am-12.55pm:     Parallel sesssion 1.

Panel A: Crime and Scandal. Panel B: The Challenge of Digital. Panel C: National Identities

12.55pm-1.40pm:      Lunch break.

1.40pm to 3.20pm:     Parallel session 2.

Panel D: Newspapers and Communities. Panel E: Addressing Audiences via Content.

3.20pm: Close.



Panel A: Crime and Scandal.

  • Will Clement, St John’s College, Oxford. Reporting, reprinting, and retelling: a sacrilegious bar crawl and the international local press in the late nineteenth-century
  • Abigail Rieley, University of Sussex. Hitting above their weight: How the Limerick and Clare Examiner broke into the big time with its coverage of the murder of the century.
  • Ashley Borrett, University of Hull. News as social history: local press responses to crime and criminality in Hull and East Yorkshire during the interwar period
  • Daliah Bond, University of Aberdeen. Scottish Chapbooks and the ‘News’.


Panel B: The Challenge of Digital

  • Kate Heathman, Liverpool John Moores University. Telling the stories that people want to hear: Student reflections on the role of the community reporter in the 21st
  • David Baines, University of Newcastle. Rethinking Local Media as Communities’ Cultural Assets: 
  • Anthony Cawley, Liverpool Hope University. Boom to Bust: Lessons from Ireland’s Local Newspaper Industry During and After the Celtic Tiger.
  • Sarah O’Hara, University of Canterbury. Organisational culture and its impact on local newspapers.


Panel C: National Identities

  • Josep Guimera, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and Mariola Tarrega, Stirling University. Media policies and regional newspapers in Catalonia: creating a dedicated media system (1979-2016)
  • Eneko Bidegian, Ainhoa Larranaga and Igor Agirre, Mondragon Unibertsitatea. The Basque Identity through the territorial representation of the Basque media.
  • Mitraijit Biswas, MICA, India. Discourse of vernacular newspapers on political situation presentation in West Bengal.
  • Nicholas Foggo, University of Liverpool. The rise and fall of diversity in the Liverpool press, 1712 to 2013.


Panel D: Newspapers and Communities

  • Agnes Gulyas, University of Canterbury. Hybrid forms of local news online.
  • Torrin Clark, University of Leicester. From The Silent Watchdog to the Lost Watchdog – The decline of the UK regional press’ role in scrutiny of local government over 40 years.
  • David Toomer, Liverpool John Moores University, Exploring the link between newspaper closures, areas of social deprivation, and the coverage of parliamentary elections. Does deprivation make a difference?
  • Jamie Matthews, Bournemouth University. The relationships between local newspapers and their communities in post-disaster environments


 Panel E: Addressing Audiences via Content.

  • Nadirah Mansour, Princeton University. De-Provincializing the Arabic-Language Press.
  • Hannah Nicholson, University of Nottingham. “To the editor”: Readers’ letters within the East Midlands provincial press c.1790-1832.
  • Chris Shoop-Worrall, University of Sheffield. Scouse Sensation: Liverpool and the New Journalism
  • Flemming Tait Svith, Danish School of Media and Journalism. Local patriotism in journalism.

Call for papers

Closing date for proposals: 1 June 2017

Conference date: 8 September 2017

Papers are invited for a one-day conference on the theme of provincial, regional and local newspapers. The conference is being jointly organised by media historians from Coventry University and Liverpool John Moores University at a time when newsprint journalism has moved from the intensive care ward and obituaries are being pondered and some written. Yet local and regional journalism has been challenged before and emerged altered if not unscathed. This event will bring industry representatives and academics together to take a retrospective look at the current conundrum faced by the regional local newspaper industry in an effort to extrapolate lessons for the future.

We welcome paper proposals from all eras and nationalities, shedding new light on longstanding or recent media historical topics. We anticipate sessions of 90 minutes (20 minutes per paper plus 30 minutes of questions / discussion). It is expected that suitable papers will be developed into chapters for an edited volume on this subject for Routledge.

Themes to explore might include (but are not limited to):

  • The future of the local press and local newspaper businesses
  • Newspapers and regional identity
  • The role of local newspapers in their communities
  • Political and judicial accountability
  • Economic models
  • Trans-regional collaboration
  • Media as political and social discourse
  • Advertising
  • Production and reception histories

The event is organised by Dr Guy Hodgson, Senior Lecturer in Journalism at LJMU, and Dr Rachel Matthews, Principal Lecturer in Journalism, Coventry University. In order to encourage a wide-range of papers, there will be no conference fee and lunch will be provided.

Please include an abstract of no more than 300 words and a cover sheet with a brief biographical note, your institutional affiliation (where relevant) and your contact details (including your email address). Abstracts should be sent to

Closing date for proposals:  1 June 2017. You will be notified of the acceptance of your paper by 15 June 2017.