How much access to national news would a person living in an English village in 1861 have? When did The Times and The Telegraph start distributing nationally, not just to major towns?
Here is a timeline of British Press developments that may be helpful.
The Daily Telegraph was launched in 1855, and became a "London" morning paper in the same year.
Note, also, that the stamp tax was abolished in 1855, and the paper duty in 1861; these had formerly been deterrents to cheap, "mass" newspapers.
It is striking that the Irish Daily was launched in 1859, the first Welsh newspaper in 1861, and the South Wales Daily in 1872. Also, the National Press Association was formed in 1868.
Thus, I infer that British newspapers went "national" during the 1860s. They probably weren't available in "villages" in 1861 but it wasn't too long afterward.