Thursday, January 22, 2009

Burnham-local news is a priority

I have just been reading Andy Burnham's speech to the Oxford Media convention.

Here are some of the highlights

The old media world has ended – and the sooner we say so the better.

We will only succeed if at all times we are guided by the viewing and listening public whose voices, at times, are dangerously excluded from fevered and inward-looking industry debates.

the Government will make a firm commitment to sustaining PSB provision including and beyond the BBC.

the core list of priorities is clear: high quality, impartial news at local, regional as well as national level; original high quality British content, including but not limited to children’s programming and drama; current affairs, international analysis and factual programming.

But perhaps from all the rhetoric comes this

the provision of local news – and the plight of local newspapers - has to rise up the political agenda.
It is time to develop a sensible strategy that uses the converging nature of journalism to sustain a vital local media. There is a potential here for new partnerships which might include local media businesses, private sector partners, and communities, and may be – with proper safeguards- the public sector.

So what is he saying.If everything else fails should the regional news sector be nationalised to save it?


Ed Walker said...

I like the idea of each region having a community fund that's available for new media start-ups, and new media entrepreneurs could bid for it?

Nigel Barlow said...


My problem with it is the fact that this could end with public money ie the government funding journalism and that could be a dangerous precedent.

But I agree with Andy Burnham that something needs to be to keep local and regional news alive