That’s because Britain’s newspapers, like most North American ones, have tried to maintain their once fat profit margins by doing anything other than local news reporting. They have gone global and generic in a bid for traffic. They fill the news hole with native advertising, sponsored stories, advertiser-driven content, clickbait, opinionating, top 10 lists…. There is lots of content that makes publishers money or reduces their costs and attracts more eyeballs than dry stories about city council doings.
“The shallow wisdom of digital editors is often that when nobody reads your story, you are doing it wrong,” writes Columbia University journalism professor Emily Bell, in the Guardian. “But the stories worth covering that nobody reads are the fabric of the public record.”
Bell just sketched out the fundamental problem for the business side of journalism everywhere. The most important stories are not necessarily the most exciting ones. And newspapers are a business. They need to attract readers they can sell to advertisers.