MPs across the UK
show support for independent publishers.
‘Quality, community news is in peril and as shown by the recent demise of the Bedfordshire Times and Citizen, it’s more important than ever that the scarce local news platforms that remain, like the Bedford Independent, are cherished and supported for the vital role they play in our community and to democracy.’ - Mohammed Yasin, MP for Bedford & Kempston
‘Local journalism, both in printed form and on online news sites, is important to help keep people in the community informed, especially people who are self-isolating and are not out and about hearing news from their family, friends and work colleagues in the way they normally would.’ - Bob Seely, MP for the Isle of Wight
[The Government] ‘needs to be looking at using the full suite of measures to get their message to the public about how they should respond to Covid-19.The role of small independent news outlets must not be overlooked in this. Quite apart from anything else the collective reach of all these outlets is significant. More than that, because they are rooted in their own communities, they tend to be trusted news carriers. If Government goes only for the low hanging fruits of the bigger regional and national outlets then they risk damaging the effectiveness of any public information campaign.’- Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland
‘The current medical crisis has brought into even sharper focus the importance of local media outlets, including online publications such as The Bedford Independent... which can be relied upon to provide useful local reporting. I am joining calls for local councils and government departments to channel more of their public notices through these outlets so that local people can access important messages more easily and quickly.’ - Richard Fuller, MP for North East Bedfordshire
‘I know how trusted the Nantwich News is and how big their reach is. I have asked the Department of Health to ensure they are considering local news media as avenues for public advertising which is so important at the moment. We need to reach everyone.’ - Kieran Mullan, MP for Crewe & Nantwich
‘Independent publications like South Leeds Life are vital to local communities like ours, especially at times like this. We need to keep them going through this crisis so that they can carry on serving local people once it’s over. The problem is that advertising revenue has been severely hit, so one way Government could help would be to place public health information advertisements in these newspapers.’ - Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central
‘Independent community news networks are vital to ensure our communities have accurate, informative, local news. The Edinburgh Reporter provides news and information to the people of Edinburgh that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Now, more than ever, the government must help ensure community news sources survive.’ - Tommy Sheppard, MP for Edinburgh East
‘Local independent news journalism covers stories that the national titles don’t cover and reaches people in our communities who are often neglected by the mainstream media. It performs an essential function by informing people about what is going on in their local communities and about local services they might benefit from. Its digital formats are particularly useful for the housebound and so invaluable in the current crisis. The Edinburgh Reporter is the go-to source for many local people who want to know what is going on in their immediate locality. It is essential that it does not fail.’ - Joanna Cherry, MP for Edinburgh South West
‘Local independent news is essential to any democracy, and must not fall victim to Covid-19. Without papers like the Enfield Dispatch giving a crucial voice to locals, our media landscape will be little more than billionaire-owned corporations and vested interests. The Government must do far more to make sure local media survives Covid-19, and must do so quickly.’ - Kate Osamor, MP for Edmonton
‘Local, independent news organisations, such as Enfield Dispatch, are the lifeblood of trusted reporting of news relevant to their communities. Government should financially support local media outlets at this crucial time, especially as we try and combat fake news, and where the public are more likely to trust local news sources.’ - Feryal Clark, MP for Enfield North
‘Local news media is an essential part of our democratic process. Through small and independent outlets communities are informed, empowered and supported. Diversity of opinion is a necessary part of our national discussion and a local perspective is a needed part of that dialogue.’ - Chris Clarkson, MP for Heywood & Middleton
“Some of the most insightful, challenging and truly community-based reporting in London is by publications that come under the Independent Community News Network. Time and time again publications such as 853 and SE1 pick up on issues long before other forms of media.
“For independent news outlets to be excluded from an advertising partnership that is designed to help keep the public safe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic is a perverse and indefensible decision. Public health messages should be communicated to the huge audiences reading these publications.
“The current advertising contract is also a snub to everyone who values a vibrant, diverse and community-based media.” - Caroline Valerie Pidgeon MBE, London Assembly member.