Blunkett launches PA newswire

Home Secretary David Blunkett has launched the Press Association’s latest newswire service, which aims to generate stories about the work of community and voluntary groups.

The community newswire, which has been given £500,000 of Home Office backing over two years, will be run by PA journalists based at its northern centre in Howden. They will select and write stories from news releases submitted by community organisations. About 20 stories a day will go out on PA’s regional newswires.

The service is a partnership between the Media Trust and PA and is funded by the Active Community Unit within the Home Office.

Speaking at the launch of the service at PA’s headquarters in London, Blunkett said: “We want to make sure this comes alive as being something effectively owned, if not financed, by the community and voluntary sector.

“I think it has tremendous potential and we wouldn’t be putting resources and backing in if we didn’t believe so.”

All community newswire stories will be available on PA’s website, www.pamediapoint.press.net, and at www.communitynewswire.org.

The first story on the community newswire, which was sent by David Blunkett from PA’s headquarters, named the squad of footballers selected to compete in the Homeless World Cup in Sweden. PA got quotes from England internationals Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Trevor Brooking to go with the story.

By Jon Slattery

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