Culture Secretary Andy Burnham said today that the "plight of local newspapers" must rise up the political agenda and called for an end to media jobs only being open to those with rich and well-connected parents.
Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention, he said: "I would like to signal today that the provision of local news – and the plight of local newspapers - has to rise up the political agenda.
"It is time to develop a sensible strategy that uses the converging nature of journalism to sustain a vital local media. There is a potential here for new partnerships which might include local media businesses, private sector partners, and communities, and may be – with proper safeguards- the public sector.
"There might even be potential for a national network of local consortia. The prize here is the opportunity to create entry points to the creative industries at the local level by providing apprenticeships, skills training, work experience and jobs.
"We must break a culture where jobs in the media go to the people whose parents have contacts for internships or where they can afford to support people in unpaid positions."
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