In a new article in the British Journalism Review, freely available here, Roy Greenslade and Steven Barnett look at the story of Baylis Media, a family-owned local newspaper group owned by a trust. In their view, the Baylis model raises interesting questions for journalism’s charitable status and its rootedness in local community.
They suggest that hyperlocal and community sites have a potential role to play in reinvigorating both local media and local democracy* and assess the scope for allowing more journalism enterprises to become charities, and securing both the reputational and financial benefits that go with charitable status.
While there are obstacles in existing charity law, they conclude that “the defining step which Louis Baylis took in 1962 might – albeit over 50 years later – presage a new wave of journalism enterprises which are just as independent, just as dedicated to serving the local community, and maybe just as long-lived“.
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