To: Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Local News Matters: address the local media crisis

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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.


Reasons for signing

  • A near monopoly of local news by big business is half way to tyranny.
  • We must preserve local news and journalists jobs. We must not allow the BBC to dumb down local journalism by cutting jobs and services.
  • It important than Citizens have the information to keep Local Matters aboveboard & honest & People have the Right to know if something is of benefit to the local Community or otherwise.

Updates

2017-04-01 15:05:09 +0100

500 signatures reached

2017-03-27 14:48:06 +0100

NUJ members and reps from across the UK and Ireland have stepped up to the challenge and organised events and activities as part of this union-wide campaign. Thanks to everyone for what you've done so far!

Supporters in Parliament have also laid down an Early Day Motion, supporting the campaign. It's been signed by MPs from parties across the House already. You can read it here http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/1109

If your MP isn't on the list yet, please can you write to them to ask for their support by signing EDM 1109? You can find your MP and email them at https://www.writetothem.com

2017-03-25 11:33:48 +0000

100 signatures reached

2017-03-24 18:06:27 +0000

50 signatures reached

2017-03-24 14:54:01 +0000

25 signatures reached

2017-03-24 08:33:03 +0000

10 signatures reached