The Newspaper Society has done a great job on behalf of the regional press in lobbying against BBC proposals to beef up its local websites. Conservative leader David Cameron spoke out yesterday against the BBC "crushing" local competition when addressing the Newspaper Conference, which is made up of political editors whose newspapers are members of the NS. Sceptics like former Sunday Sun editor Chris Rushton, who wonder how regional papers can demand protection for their patches when they are chopping staff, appear to be in the minority. But there is a real dilemma for regional journalists. They know if the BBC steals local press audiences with bumped up websites, it could lead to lower ad revenues and threaten their jobs. On the other hand, if they are going to lose their jobs anyway because of the rise of the web they wouldn't half like to work for the BBC's local websites.
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
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