December 13 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Regional newspapers have been through difficult times but have a strong future, the chief executive of Archant told peers at a House of Lords select committee.
Speaking at a special session on media plurality, Adrian Jeakings, who leads the company which publishes the EDP and is also president of the Newspaper Society, argued local and regional media should be exempt from regulator Ofcom’s plans to periodically review ownership in the industry.
Concerns have been raised about the concentration of ownership of the media and Ofcom wants to periodically review plurality, but it comes amid fears it could harm the commercial sustainability of journalism, particularly at local and regional level.
The Newspaper Society, which represents the regional newspaper industry including the EDP, has argued that local and regional media should be exempt from Ofcom’s planned reviews.
Mr Jeakings said: “There is a huge amount of time and effort taken up with any sort of review by the government body and to be included in one would be a major distraction and since Ofcom themselves feel we should be excluded we are very happy to go along with that.”
The papers argue that they are completely different to the national press and Mr Jeakings said: “It is totally inconceivable that the owners (of Archant) could interfere with the news agendas of any of those titles. I understand the national argument completely, but it is very, very different to our business.”
He told that committee that the newspaper industry had been through difficult times, adding: “We think there is a strong future.”