The Newspaper Society has called for an urgent meeting with the UK government, demanding curbs on council-run publications, which it believes create “direct competition” to regional and local newspapers.
“Central government must not turn a blind eye to this practice any longer,” said David Newel, NS director. “It undermines local democracy and must be stopped.”
Earlier this week, the NS criticised the Audit Commission’s newly published research on council media, arguing that the report did not not address the “key issue” of the publications’ impact on independent local media.
Trinity Mirror CEO Sly Bailey said: “The Audit Commission’s involvement has been a complete waste of time as we knew it would be.
“It was obvious they were the wrong body to assess competition in the local media market or the impact of local activities on commercial entities. In some cases, council newspapers are using tax-payers’ money to compete directly with the independent free press.”