Theresa May has announced a review of newspapers across the country as part of a bid to improve industry standards and safeguarding democracy.

Speaking in Manchester, the home of one of the country's largest regional newspapers and the birthplace of the Guardian newspaper group, the prime minister warned about the decline of "credible" news in what has been a volatile era for traditional news outlets.

In times where the term "fake news" is often thrown around like confetti, the prime ministers said that the public was "vulnerable to news which is untrustworthy".

She revealed that she wanted a new, sustainable model to allow the traditional press to continue into the future at national, regional and local levels.

Across the country, newspapers have shut down or laid off hundreds of staff. In 2016, the Independent closed its newspaper division to focus solely on an online presence. The Guardian in early 2018 changed from a Berliner-style format to a smaller tabloid design as part of a strategy to improve company finances.

And the smaller regional media up and down the country have either turned from dailies to weeklies, shut their newspaper operations or closed down altogether.

Local newspapers in particular have suffered as larger groups such as Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press have taken over.

Data compiled by the Press Gazette found that in the 18 months to December 2016, 46 regional papers had closed down. The number of local newspapers tumbled by almost 200 over the 11 years from 2005.

Huge force for good

"Good quality journalism provides us with the information and analysis we need to inform our viewpoints and conduct a genuine discussion," the PM said.

"It is a huge force for good. But in recent years - especially in local journalism - we've seen falling circulations, a hollowing-out of local newsrooms, and fears for the future sustainability of high-quality journalism."

May highlighted the closures of several papers in the Manchester area alone, such as the Salford Advertiser, the Trafford Advertiser and the Wilmslow Express. She described their loss as "dangerous for our democracy".

Theresa May newspaper
Theresa May announced a review to make the press more sustainable DANIEL SORABJI/AFP/Getty Images