The National Union of Journalists is to hold a one-day commission later this month to look at alternative business models for the local media.
Media Guardian commentator Roy Greenslade and former FT journalist and Reuters Institute journalism director John Lloyd are among a panel of media experts lined up by the NUJ for the event.
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said the panel of experts, meeting on 30 March, will look at new ways of funding local news.
These could include endowments for journalists, start-up grants, partnerships with public service broadcasters, trusts, local consortia and state aid.
The continuing crisis in the regional newspaper industry has seen hundreds of jobs axed in the past fortnight.