500 signatures reached
To: Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Local News Matters: address the local media crisis
Launch a public inquiry to examine the local media crisis.
Why is this important?
Quality journalism is at the heart of a healthy democracy. It helps to keep people informed, combat fake news, hold those in power to account and promotes community engagement.
Yet the local media industry is in crisis today.
More than 300 local newspapers have been closed in the past decade and more than half of all parliamentary constituencies do not have a dedicated daily local newspaper.
Most local newspapers are owned by big business. Four companies - Trinity Mirror, Johnston Press, Newsquest and Tindle Newspapers - own nearly three-quarters of all local newspapers. This market domination has allowed these companies to generate profits and offer executives bumper pay packets while cutting journalists’ jobs and freezing wages.
The BBC has also been slashing budgets, axing jobs and drawing up plans to shut local BBC offices while at the same time using £8m per year of licence-fee payers' money to prop up private media companies.
This situation can't carry on. Local communities deserve better.
Now is the time to take action and demand that the government launches a public inquiry to examine the local media crisis.
We need investment in quality local journalism and sustainable business models. We must reclaim a vital, vigorous local media that is owned and operated in the public interest and located in the communities it serves.