Members of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Commission recommend the expansion of the BBC’s Local Democratic Reporting Service (LDRS), and a statutory notice issued amid warnings that local news coverage will continue to decline without government support. I asked for a review of the rules.
In the report Sustainability in local journalismparliamentarians on the bipartisan committee – which emphasized the role of local journalism in providing oversight and scrutiny of local governments – also called for greater financial support for local news publishers and urged the government to support local news outlets. proposed making charity easier to obtain.
Commission urges government to protect LDRS, which finances local coverage in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, under upcoming charter negotiations, and explore ways to extend service reach to BBC urged to do so.
But it also warned that the BBC’s plans to direct more resources to its online local news service “risk harming commercial news outlets whose sustainability is already precarious”.
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In this regard, the Committee heard evidence from Jonathan Heawood, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Interest News Foundation. He reported that the median turnover of the emerging independent sector is between £30,000 and £40,000 per year, which is not sustainable in the long term.
The Commission stressed that statutory notices in local newspapers were “an important means of keeping the public informed” and an important source of revenue. The standards used by some councils appear outdated,” the report added.
The Commission noted from one local newspaper, the Bedford Independent, that its local authority, Bedford Borough Council, recommends that advertisements and license applications be published only in print. The Bedford Independent said this was because “few people actually see them, but local businesses and taxpayers are forced to pay the hefty costs set by one title printed in the area.” He argued that it meant “to be”.
Lawmakers called on the government to review existing rules and practices for posting statutory notices in local newspapers and need guidance on how local councils can measure the reach and audience levels of news publications in the digital age. I recommend that you consider whether
According to the report, a decline in local news coverage “could have measurable adverse effects on local communities”, such as lower voter turnout in elections and increased polarization and misinformation.
Data highlighted by the Commission showed that in 2019, 63% of UK Local Authority Districts (LADs) were not covered by a local daily newspaper, up from 45% in 2007.
Furthermore, coverage from local courts has also declined significantly, with a 2019 study showing that all magistrates court cases in England and Wales were reported in the 401 local newspapers surveyed. was less than 1% of