In addition to having launched numerous websites this year, the British regional press saw its online traffic boosted by the summer floods. Local newspapers remain a go-to destination during challenging times.
Associated Northcliffe Digital reported a boom in traffic, as the online editions of The Gloucetershire Echo and The Hull and East Rididing Mail posted regular updates during the flood.
More than 200,000 people visited the Echo’s website during July, while more than 180,000 visited the Hull’s website.
"Local digital media now plays an integral part in people's lives. They are able to log on to their local online portals to access the latest information on issues and events that directly affect them,” said Michael Pelosi, managing director of Northcliffe Media.
The Hull’s website published more than 500 user-generated images of the floods, while the Echo’s site received over 3,000 reader comments in a week – compared to 300 on average.
"In times of crisis, people need regular information updates, which we were able to provide via our online portals."
This traffic boost is complemented by the fact that the UK regional press is embracing the digital age. The number of regional press websites went from 828 in 2006 to 1,102, a 33% increase.