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Listen to MPs not media bosses, UK government urged

16 April 2009

The NUJ is calling on the UK government to think again before rushing through a communications bill allowing for media mergers.

A report in The Times today says:

"Ministers are quietly drawing up legislation that would tear up merger regimes for television, regional newspapers and local radio as part of the biggest shake-up in media regulation since the beginning of the decade."

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:

"The big media companies are lobbying for mergers so they can swap titles and create regional monopolies with radio stations as well.
"This is not about improving the service to readers and advertiser or saving jobs. It is about a green light for more cuts to please shareholders.
"It would be government approval for soulless news factories producing allegedly local papers for huge areas with no real contact with the communities they serve.
"If the government are considering changing the rules to bail out the media companies they must insist on enforceable guarantees about journalism and jobs.
"Well over 100 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion supporting this demand for guarantees.
"I urge Culture Secretary Andy Burnham to listen to Members of Parliament and the communities they represent not those media executives who have lead our industry into crisis and are dancing to the tune of the city speculators who have caused this economic crisis."

Tags: , merger, regional newspapers, television, local radio, broadcasting, newspapers, government uk, parliament uk, ownership, the times, media plurality