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Mass Media: Public Health

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 19th May 2020.

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Photo of Scott Mann Scott Mann Conservative, North Cornwall

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of arranging with the Independent Community News Network and the Publish Interest News Foundation for a portion of public health campaign spending to be disbursed across the independent media sector.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

An error has been identified in the written answer given on 19 May 2020.

The correct answer should have been:

I met with the Independent Community News Network and the Public Interest News Foundation on 6 May to discuss Government support for the independent news publishing sector in light of the impacts of Covid-19. This meeting included a discussion on the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak on the independent news media sector, the Government's public information awareness campaign, and the ways in which the independent sector may be used to reach underserved audiences. I continue to engage with them via regular biweekly press sector meetings

All titles utilised in the public health campaign have been selected by the Government's media planning and buying agency, OmniGOV. As with any media planning approach, titles are selected on their ability to engage with audiences at a national, regional and local level and to ensure value for money, reach and targeting efficacy. The current partnership brings together over 600 national, regional and local titles across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to reach 49 million people a month. The vast majority of titles are local papers and additional titles have been selected in order to further reach priority audiences including BAME and older men.

The government recognises the vital role of independent newspapers in supporting communities by ensuring the provision of reliable, high-quality information throughout the current pandemic. Safeguarding the UK’s news media so that they are able to continue to provide this is a key priority for the government and we are in regular dialogue with a range of stakeholders, including publishers, the Independent Community News Network and the Public Interest News Foundation to ensure that our response to the challenges they are facing is as effective and wide reaching as it can be.

The government will continue to consider all possible options in the interests of promoting and sustaining high-quality news journalism. Never have the activities of journalists been more popular and critical; providing quality news to all, including those self-isolating, and binding communities together, a fundamental function of our modern day democracy.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No2 people think not

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Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

I met with the Independent Community News Network and the Public Interest News Foundation on 6 May to discuss Government support for the independent news publishing sector in light of the impacts of Covid-19. This meeting included a discussion on the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak on the independent news media sector, the Government's public information awareness campaign, and the ways in which the independent sector may be used to reach underserved audiences. I continue to engage with them via regular biweekly press sector meetings

All titles utilised in the public health campaign have been selected by the Government's media planning and buying agency, OmniGOV. As with any media planning approach, titles are selected on their ability to engage with audiences at a national, regional and local level and to ensure value for money, reach and targeting efficacy. The current partnership brings together over 600 national, regional and local titles across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to reach 49 million people a month. The vast majority of titles are local papers and additional titles have been selected in order to further reach priority audiences including BAME and older men.

The government recognises the vital role of independent newspapers in supporting communities by ensuring the provision of reliable, high-quality information throughout the current pandemic. Safeguarding the UK’s news media so that they are able to continue to provide this is a key priority for the government and we are in regular dialogue with a range of stakeholders, including publishers, the Independent Community News Network and the Public Interest News Foundation to ensure that our response to the challenges they are facing is as effective and wide reaching as it can be.

The government will continue to consider all possible options in the interests of promoting and sustaining high-quality news journalism. Never have the activities of journalists been more popular and critical; providing quality news to all, including those self-isolating, and binding communities together, a fundamental function of our modern day democracy.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.