Early Day Motion 1109
LOCAL NEWS MATTERS
The Peterborough Tribune is backing the NUJ 'local news matters' campaign in an attempt to save the last few salaried and freelance journalistic newspaper and broadcasting jobs in our region.
We strongly urge all local residents to URGENTLY contact their Members of Parliament by e-mail, telephone and /or letter. The local MPs' are Shailesh Vara MP and Stewart Jackson MP asking them to positively back this Early Day Motion 1109.
Simply if they do not, then their own constituency and parliamentary activities will in the future not be fully reported, as local news journalist posts are under threat and in the process of being lost.
Consider that over three hundred Local newspaper titles have been closed down by publishers, during the last decade. The BBC is also shedding staff news journalist posts and in future will increasingly rely on outside agency writers and reporters.
Once busy newsrooms reporting on every Council Meeting (and that of Committees) constantly interviewing and questioning local councillors and the highly-paid council executives who in this region seem to have misspent or wasted many millions of taxpayers public money but at the same time voting through eye watering amounts in cash allowances to feather their own lifestyles.
Other skilled shorthand writers used to regularly attend local Courts. Now in many places, not all, newsrooms resemble a moribund office, devoid of skilled writers, and these days staffed with little more than 'content scrapers' who are tasked with plundering the Internet at large, for 'content towers.', or PR hand outs to fill their columns. Increasingly it becomes 'click bait' acres of 'content' for a distant publishers highly commercial website.
Increasingly edited from a distant 'news' hub, which in future will be many hundreds of miles away from MPs constituencies and by people with little or no local knowledge, and therefore unlikely to engage and question local councillors and politicians.
- Session: 2016-17
- Date tabled: 23.03.2017
- Primary sponsor: Goodman, Helen
- Bottomley, Peter
- Saville Roberts, Liz
- Lucas, Caroline
- Lewis, Clive
- Maskell, Rachael
That this House celebrates the importance of quality local and regional news and whether provided online, by photographers, newspapers or local broadcasters;
believes that access to local and regional news is essential to the quality of life, informed citizenship, and promotion of a flourishing of democracy in all our communities;
recognises the challenges posed to the sustainability of local news provision; notes that a study by Press Gazette shows that over 300 local newspaper titles have closed over the past decade, with other titles reducing the frequency of publication;
further notes that thousands of editorial roles have been lost, together with widespread reduction to the staffing levels associated with frontline reporters based in the community, picture desk editors and photographers;
regrets the impact of moving the production of local news out of localities they serve which effects the quality of news coverage;
and supports the National Union of Journalists’ Local News Matters campaign, which urges Government devolved bodies and local authorities, to take active steps to support sustainable investment in professional local and regional news provision online, in newspapers and on radio and television.
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