MPs seeking views on the future of local and regional media

VIEWS are being sought from the general public about the future of local and regional media, following the launch of an inquiry by MPs.

The Westminster Select Committee says it is seeking views on, among other things, the impact of the internet on local media. plus changing consumer behaviour.

The inquiry was announced on Wednesday and follows a recent joint submission, also about local and regional media, from the Society of Editors and the Newspaper Society: to the Culture secretary, Andy Burnham.

Other topics to interest the committee include:

* The impact of newspaper closures on independent local journalism and access to local information;

* How to fund quality local journalism;

* The appropriateness and effectiveness of print and electronic publishing initiatives undertaken directly by public sector bodies at the local level;

* The future of local radio and television news;

* The desirability of changes to the regulatory framework for print and electronic local media, including cross-media ownership and merger regulations; and

* The opportunities and implications of BBC partnerships with local media.

Among the members sitting on the (Culture, Media and Sport) committee is Scots MP, Rosemary McKenna.

Meanwhile, the Society of Editors and the Newspaper Society together want the government to:

* Issue guidance to local authorities to discourage them from launching publications and websites that compete directly with and undermine local papers;

* Encourage local and national government to advertise public sector jobs and services in local papers and their websites;

* Explore ways in which Google and others could be prevented from profiting from third party content without recompense to or consent from those who generated the materia; and

* Invest public funds for training directly with media companies and the industry’s main training organisation, the NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists), thereby encouraging training for multi-platform news delivery.