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Our fourth annual Index of the independent news sector.



This year’s Index is the result of in-depth surveys taken by more than 70 small independent news publishers across the UK, predominantly working in text-based formats.   

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Key findings include: 


  • Independent news publishers are not immune to the revenue challenges facing the broader UK media sector. The average revenue of an independent news publisher is just £62,000, down significantly on the previous year’s finding; 

  • The average website reach of 344,000 unique users is significantly lower than the finding in last year’s survey; 

  • Cuts are being made to newsroom staffing. The average publisher has just two FTE employees compared with last year’s finding of three FTE employees - risking a downward spiral of reduced output and further reduced revenue;

  • Print is a concern for some, but an opportunity for others: 

    • Existing print publishers worry about rising costs and consider stopping production; 
      o New entrants with a formerly online-only presence are taking their first steps in print publishing;

  • Average social media reach appears smaller than in previous surveys, and publishers are trying out new options

    • Facebook is still the most popular platform for use by publishers, but followers on Meta’s platform, as well as on X (formerly Twitter) are lower than measured last year;

    • Publishers say they are looking to diversify from overreliance on digital platforms.

  • Abundant stories of the social benefits of independent news publishers exist – they give voice to their communities, press local government to act, inspire larger publishers to pursue stories, and highlight wrongdoing.

Our analysis reveals new insights into the size, shape and economics of the sector.


The report also features first-person accounts from publishers and highlights inspiring stories of impact. 


Many thanks to all the publishers who took the time to complete the survey, as well as our researchers: Dr Clare Cook of the University of Central Lancashire and Dr Coral Milburn-Curtis of the University of Oxford. 

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