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NUJ joins calls to protect planning notices in local newspapers

25 September 2020

The NUJ has joined calls from the News Media Association (NMA) for the government to re-think proposed legislation which would scrap the requirement for public notices to be published in local papers.

The NMA has calculated that the obligation on local authorities to place statutory planning notices in local newspapers is worth about £10m each year to the industry. As Covid-19 is putting further pressure on an industry already in crisis, this loss of revenue could not come at a worse time.

The NUJ is also concerned that the proposals, as part of the Planning for the Future White Paper, could be a way of bypassing local people and their right to be consulted on changes to their environment.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

“The NUJ urges the government to think again about these proposals which will rob the newspaper industry of vital revenue and undermine local communities' right to know about proposed new developments.
“The NUJ’s News Recovery Plan puts forward proposals to sustain the press and media through the Covid-19 crisis and reboot the industry, putting public interest journalism at its heart. It calls for a levy on the tech giants, as payback for the content they take for free and the damage caused by their dominance in attracting digital advertising
"It also calls for urgent and innovative intervention to support the provision of quality relevant news at a time of unprecedented need – including a package of tax credits to support Jobs for Journalists; local businesses taking out advertising; and for subscriptions to print and digital news outlets.”

Tags: , local newspapers, local news matters, planning notices, Planning for the Future, News Media Association, News Reecovery Plan, tax credits, advertising