Tuesday 16 December 2008

Regional press fears loss of planning ads

As if the local press didn't have enough to worry about, there is concern that statutory laws requiring local government to advertise planning applications in regional newspapers could be relaxed.
Consultations are taking place at the moment. It comes at a time when regional newspaper publishers are voicing concern about the shift of public notices and other local authority advertising from local newspapers to council-owned websites, newspapers and other publications.
The Newspaper Society has been briefing politicians with the results of a poll that claims 79 per cent of adults rate local media as the best source for public notice advertising. Internet came second at 58 per cent.
Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, was quoted in MediaGuardian on Monday urging: "In the current climate particularly the government should keep advertising and insist that local government continues to use local papers for planning applications and other public notices because there is a public interest in maintaining viable local and national media."
December 18 update: Housing Minister Margaret Beckett has responded to Newspaper Society concerns over a recommendation from the Killian Pretty Review to remove the mandatory requirement for local authorities to publish planning statutory notices in newspapers, saying the government is as yet undecided but promising to consult with interested parties if it decides to take the proposal forward.

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