Johnston Press - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:47 pm on 19th November 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Pinnock Baroness Pinnock Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government) 6:47 pm, 19th November 2018

My Lords, this is a very serious moment for the reporting of local events. First, I want to raise my concerns particularly about the future of the Yorkshire Post, which is a renowned newspaper that provides, in Yorkshire and surrounding areas, a regional perspective on news that would otherwise reflect only the London-centred media—that is why it is so invaluable to local people. Secondly, I have concerns about the future of the 200 or so titles that Johnston Press publishes, which provide real local news reporting and which, fundamentally, act as the organ that shines a light on local democracy. No other organisation is able to do that; the only way that the fourth estate can hold our local democracy to account is via these local titles. Can the Minister suggest a constructive way forward to safeguard these titles, particularly as the Cairncross report is unlikely to be able to provide recommendations until early next year, by which time many of these titles may have disappeared?