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BBC Local decision 'a blow to local news media'

21 November 2008

The BBC Trust’s refusal to create a network of 65 local online video news services was a missed opportunity to enhance local media, according to the NUJ.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said:

"Local papers are closing and job cuts mean thousands of journalists don’t have the time to do their jobs properly any more.
"ITV is also withdrawing from its regional and local news commitments.
"Against a significant decline in local journalism, here was an opportunity to take a small step in the opposite direction by actually enhancing local news provision.
“The BBC made commitments to invest in local and regional news services and we expect it to stick to its promises."

The plans were rejected after a vigorous lobby by the newspaper industry.

Jeremy Dear added:

"Newspaper employers have spent years taking huge profits out of local media while cutting jobs. Now they have helped stop new jobs being created because they said such competition would stifle their investment.”

Tags: , bbc, broadcasting, new media, newspapers, local newspapers, itv, local news, cuts