When News Corp announced the closure or move to online only of more than 125 local newspapers, we were stunned. While the news was not necessarily shocking in itself, with almost constant announcements of media closures, to make such changes to so many local titles was unexpected.

Not only does it mean the loss of over 500 jobs, which is horrendous, but it means that so many will be without their local news.

Regional areas will suffer the most. And those who are older and either unable or not comfortable to access the news online.

How can a lack of local information be the way forward? Surely it is in the public interest to have a local media outlet.

As a publication relations company that has secured so many local media stories that has informed the community of great news, promoted small businesses and the fantastic things they are doing for the locals, we have seen why local newspaper was there in the first place.

This is such a short-sighted decision. And it is a sign of the times.

In addition to all of the above, there are the newsagents who rely on people coming to buy their local paper for much of their business.

And those local businesses who use the local paper as a tool to advertise and gain valuable customers. While people will head online to read the news, it is less likely they will spend time scrolling the classifieds.

Local papers are a voice for the local community. Some of the titles going online have been around for over 160 years.

It is the end of an era.

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