Thursday, 13 November 2008

MPs join protest over BBC local web plans

Two Early Day Motions have been put down in the House of Commons attacking BBC plans to expand its local websites beacuse of the impact it would have on the viability of local and regional newspapers.
One by Tory MP Anne Main reads: "That this House notes BBC proposals to expand local news provision through 65 local video sites; further notes the benefits to local communities that commercial local news providers and their websites supply in reporting local news; recognises the tremendous work of local newspaper reporters and broadcasters in providing reports on local events and community groups; and is concerned that proposals by the BBC or any similarly unfairly state-funded competitor may challenge the viability of commercial local news providers."
And one put down by Carlisle Labour MP Eric Martlew says: "That this House notes with concern plans by the BBC to use money from the licence fee to fund a new service, BBC Local Video, which will threaten the viability of local and regional press; recognises that the intention of the BBC to spend £68 million will be hugely damaging to the newspaper industry and will duplicate local newspapers' online news and sports services with a network of 65 video sites; acknowledges that such proposals, financed by public funds, will give the BBC an unfair and disproportionate advantage over local and regional press; and urges the BBC to review these proposals and put greater investment into improving and extending local and regional television news services."
It seems the Newspaper Society is getting its message across.

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