To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many meetings (a) he and (b) his officials have had with representatives from (i) the News Media Association, (ii) the Independent Community News Network and (iii) the Public Interest News Foundation since 23 March 2020; and if he will make a statement.
Ministers at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have held a number of roundtables and bilateral meetings with representatives from across the Press sector, including the News Media Association (NMA), the Independent Community News Network (ICNN) and the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.
Officials at the DCMS have also been in regular contact with representatives from all three organisations, as well as with stakeholders from the wider sector, as part of the government’s increased engagement to best understand the impacts of Covid-19 on the sector, and ensure interventions are as effective as possible.
The Minister for Media and Data met with the Independent Community News Network and the Public Interest News Foundation on 6 May to discuss government support to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 for the independent news publishing sector in particular. This meeting included a discussion about the Government's national campaign to provide information and reassurance to the public about Covid-19 and how the independent sector may be used to reach underserved audiences.
Since the week commencing 23 March, the Minister for Media and Data has also held fortnightly roundtable meetings with representatives from across the sector, including the NMA and the ICNN.