The BBC’s Local News Partnerships have created a pool of reporters to cover council and public meetings across the UK.
Johnston Press, which owns The Yorkshire Post, is among a number of media organisations to now receive funding from the BBC to cover the reporters’ employment costs.
Once recruited, stories written by the democracy reporters will be shared with more than 700 media organisations that have signed up to be part of the Local News Partnerships scheme.
The landmark partnership between the BBC and the News Media Association also includes a Shared Data Unit, based at BBC Birmingham, and a facility allowing local news providers access to relevant regional BBC video and audio content.
Ashley Highfield, chair of the News Media Association, said: “The ground-breaking Local News Partnership between the NMA and the BBC is now becoming a reality which will benefit the BBC, local media and, most importantly, local communities.
“The initiative has moved the whole relationship between the BBC and the local media sector from confrontation to collaboration, and key benefits will include 150 new journalists on the ground holding public institutions to account on behalf of their readers.
“Managed by local media and funded by BBC, the Local Democracy Reporters are just a part of a slew of collaborative initiatives that will see local media get access to BBC’s local video and data journalism.”
A total of 150 local democracy reporters will eventually be employed across the country once all contracts have been awarded.