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The first of three reporters taken on as part as Facebook’s Community News Project has started work at Midland News Association, publishers of the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.
James Vukmirovic has joined the reporting team at the Express & Star.
He has been given the specific task of engaging with religious and ethnic minority groups across the region.
James is one of three reporters to be taken on by MNA under the scheme, funded by Facebook and aimed at covering members of the community potentially underserved by local media.
He will be joined in the next few weeks by Harriet Evans and Charlotte Bentley.
Harriet will be tasked with increasing the number of stories relating to young people in the Express & Star circulation area and Charlotte will work as a reporter at the Shropshire Star, concentrating on increasing engagement with rural communities.
All three are from the West Midlands and have recently graduated from journalism courses, with James and Charlotte training at Wolverhampton College and Harriet in Sheffield.
Their appointment is part of an initiative to appoint 82 local newspapers across the UK. Facebook is donating £4.5 million to the National Council for the Training of Journalists.
Martin Wright, editor-in-chief of the Express & Star and Shropshire Star, said: “This is an exciting partnership and we are delighted to welcome James on board.
“The Community News Project aims to drive up coverage of individuals and groups who may not get the exposure they deserve. We are looking forward to James, Harriet and Charlotte bringing in stories that reflect important issues in our region but also highlight some of the fantastic people that live here.”
Facebook’s Nick Wrenn, said the aim of the project was that it “helps more people access the news that matters to them most and promotes quality local news”.
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