Community / ‘No news is bad news’ – time to celebrate local news

SHETLAND News is very happy to announce that we are participating in the first ever Indie News Week, a new initiative highlighting the work of independently owned local news outlets up and down the country.

The week-long campaign under the banner of No News is Bad News runs from 3 to 9 June and is being organised by the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF).

While, thankfully, the theme of ‘no news’ has only limited relevance to audiences in Shetland, the bigger national picture does not look very encouraging.

So-called “news deserts” are expanding rapidly, with many local titles struggling financially and, increasingly, local journalists no longer living and working in their communities yet covering their patch remotely.

PINF executive director Jonathan Heawood said: “The No News is Bad News campaign is founded on the belief that a well-informed community is more able to act together to shape its own future, that local news is fundamental to a healthy democratic society and invaluable in helping to create strong communities.


“Despite this, independent community news providers are struggling to generate enough revenue to carry out their invaluable work, putting local democracy, civic engagement, and community cohesion at risk.”

So, it is high time to support efforts to reverse the national trend, while at the same time protect, strengthen and celebrate what we have here on the islands.

To that end Shetland News will be visiting a S3 class at the Anderson High School next week to talk about our work and answer any questions the next generation of readers might have.

“Local news is fundamental to a healthy democratic society and invaluable in helping to create strong communities.” (PINF executive director Jonathan Haewood)

Indie News Week is also a good opportunity for us to once again make the point that producing local news does not come cheap and that without a steady income stream there will be no reliable and trusted news.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


Many of our colleagues in the independent news sector find it difficult to make ends meet, yet their work is essential to fill the news gaps left behind by large media corporations.  More than 300 local newspapers closed between 2009 and 2019 while advertising revenue fell by 70 per cent.

Shetland News is proud to be an active member of this new emerging independent sector.

Access to all the material we publish at www.shetnews.co.uk is free and will remain free.

We are strongly supported by local businesses and organisations who trust us with their advertising requirements. But to make it all work, and see it grow, we also need voluntary contributions from our readers.

Indie News Week is a great way to boost those supporters’ numbers. So far, more than 600 regular readers support us financially. Every contribution helps. Sign up here at https://account.shetnews.co.uk/contribute/ 


Meanwhile, the UK’s first collaborative local news project Scottish Beacon is hosting a day-long event at the Grassmarket Community project on Friday 7 June asking, ‘What is the role of local news in Scotland’s communities?’.

If you are in Edinburgh or happen to be visiting the capital on that day, make sure you call along. As a founding member of the project, Shetland News is keen to promote this event, but unfortunately we cannot be there.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



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