The UK parliament’s cross-party Culture, Media and Sport Committee published the results of its year-long inquiry into the state and future of local and regional UK media today, calling for greater investigation of and stronger rules for council-run newspapers.
“We endorse the sentiment that it is local journalism, rather than local newspapers, that needs saving,” says the report.
“The two are far from mutually exclusive, but newspapers need to be innovative in the way they train their journalists to work in a multiplatform world.”
The full report is embedded below, courtesy of Scribd, and you can read previous Journalism.co.uk reports on the committee’s evidence sessions at this link. But for your perusing pleasure, here’s our breakdown of some of the key sections and quotes:
- p4 – “the broadcast pool”: “We take note of the Press Association’s concerns about the exclusivity of the ‘broadcast pool’ (video content of news events that are only allowed to be covered by a single camera, and is then shared between the BBC, ITN and Sky) and conclude that it is no longer appropriate to distinguish between broadcast and non-broadcast media when newspapers are increasingly using video on their websites.”
- p9 – breakdown of local media operators and owners;
- p11 – the role of local and regional newspapers in “the news pyramid”;
- p16 – “We welcome the BBC’s proposals to increase the number of external links on its websites. We recommend that every local BBC website should link to the local newspaper websites for that area.”
- p17 – Committee’s views on state subsidies for local and regional media.
- p17-21 – recommendations for changes to cross-media ownership rules and regulations;
- p24-5 – recommendations regarding local authority newspapers and council publications;
- p28 – “For a long time local newspapers have made relatively little change to their business models. Now, along with the other traditional media platforms of television and radio, they face a vast array of digital and internet services, providing relatively easy market entry, all vying for advertising revenue and readerships. While some economic factors are cyclical, other changes of a structural nature are likely to be permanent. As is clear from the evidence we have heard from local newspapers themselves, local newspapers must innovate and re-evaluate the traditional model of local print media in order to survive in the new digital era.”
- p33 – “the PSB obligations and other regulatory burdens on ITV need to be reduced, if not removed”;
- p38 – recommendations regarding the Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) plans – though these are a little out of date given that the winning bids for the pilots have now been announced;
- p51 – Local radio and localness and the importance of community radio.
- p60-4 – On Google’s impact on local newspapers.