The chairman of the News Media Association (NMA) has called for Government intervention to help local independent journalists during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement published on the organisation’s website, Henry Faure Walker said that advertising revenues, which he called the “lifeblood of independent journalism”, have been “hammered” by the economic downturn.
“At the local level, many news brands are in a perilous position,” he said.
“We now urgently need the Government to intervene with a series of targeted initiatives to help sustain local independent journalism in this country.”
Walker’s comments come in conjunction with the launch of the association’s Journalism Matters Campaign (5-11 October) which aims to celebrate the importance of journalism in British society.
In his statement, the chairman also calls for the relationship between “news media” and the “tech giants” to be properly “reset”.
He added: “For too long, Google and Facebook have had a free pass at using our journalism on their platforms, making huge profits, whilst contributing comparatively nothing back into the industry. This problem must be tackled urgently in order for journalism to have a bright future.”