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Press Release: 27.03.09

27th March 2009

Gordon joins campaign to save local newspapers

Gordon Henderson has welcomed Conservative plans launched today to help struggling local newspapers in Swale.

The plans announced by David Cameron and Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will review bureaucratic regulations around the ownership of local newspapers and will allow local newspapers to consolidate, both with each other and across platforms into online, TV and radio.

This will mean local newspapers will have the freedom to adapt to the digital world and develop new business models for the future. Most significantly this will encourage local newspaper groups to invest in ultra local television services.
David Cameron said:
‘Local papers are closing and members of staff are being made redundant in the face of falling advertising revenue and competition from the internet and local authority free sheets.

“That's why today the Conservative Party is going to announce plans to sweep away the bureaucratic rules that mean that a rigid law decides who owns what bits of the media in local communities. This will give local newspapers more freedom to adapt to the digital world and to develop new business models for the 21st century.’

Jeremy Hunt added:
‘The current rules were established in a pre digital era. It is now time to allow new industry models to emerge that will encourage investment not just in local papers but local online services and new local TV companies.’

Gordon Henderson said:
‘I am fully behind the ideas put forward today by the Conservatives to help struggling local newspapers.  We are lucky to have great local newspapers like the Kent Messenger and the Sheerness Times Guardian so it would be a travesty if the Labour Government’s bureaucracy and regulations mean they are reduced to cutbacks.’

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