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Sustainability of local journalism

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

IMA welcomes Committee’s recommendation to distribute support more fairly.

The Digital, Culture Media and Sport Committee has today published its report on the Sustainability of Local Journalism. The Independent Media Association’s submission was cited in several places in the report.

One of the report’s key recommendations is that:

“…we are concerned that some of the approaches of the largest publishers appear to be compromising the quality the local journalism produced by their titles. We are also concerned that the largest publishers take a disproportionate share of the support available for local journalism, to the detriment of smaller publishers and those entering the market. This may be stifling much needed innovation that could benefit the sector as a whole. We recommend that the Government conducts an audit of public money that supports the local news sector. This should be followed by an analysis of whether this money can be more fairly distributed and better used to promote innovation…”

IMA response:

“The IMA welcome the Committee’s recognition of the fact that the largest local news publishers, like Reach and Newsquest, are disproportionate beneficiaries of Government support despite the fact that they are outside any independent system of regulation and their business approaches – in the words of the Committee – appear to be compromising the quality of local journalism produced by their titles.

“The Government must listen to this important report, and ensure that future funding support for the industry is targeted at independent and regulated news titles which have high standards and produce quality, credible journalism.”

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