Sir Michael Parkinson spoke up for the local press when he launched the UK’s largest student dedicated newsroom at Nottingham Trent University on Friday.
After opening Trent's new Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism, Sir Michael was interviewed by students.
He told them: “We should be worried about a state of affairs where local papers in particular are under threat and are closing. Local papers are a vital part of a community, most importantly as a means of ensuring local authorities serve the public in a right and proper manner as well as being a sounding board for opinion, and a guide to what’s going on.
“Although the industry is tough at the moment, journalism is still a very popular career and course uptake is high. Therefore it is important that those who are choosing to go into the industry are as well prepared and highly skilled as they can be, not only to compete for jobs but also to ensure that the media grows and remains fresh with new ideas brought in by graduates."
The new fully digital centre has 85 work stations, three radio studios, two voice-over booths, a six camera TV studio and high speed laser newspaper printing.