The Liberal Democrats are leading a cross-party campaign calling on the Government to support local and independent media through an increased share of public health communications spending.
Writing to the government, Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael had warned that although the "All in, All together" campaign had provided public health information as well as advertising revenue for major media groups, local press organisations and individual journalists had raised the Government's lack of support for them.
In a letter to the Government, the cross-party campaign is calling for the Government to pledge a proportionate share of public health advertising spend to local press, meaning both a short-term boost to the Government’s public health communications as well as a long-term investment in protecting and maintaining local media across the United Kingdom.
Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said:
"Local press are some of the most trusted sources of news for our communities and we must support them in this challenging time. They are vital to our efforts to respond and recover from the coronavirus and yet they are facing significant financial difficulties.
“This letter is about getting a fair share of government advertising spend for local and independent press, to reflect both their importance in our communities and their financial needs. The Secretary of State for Health has an important role in deciding where these advertising funds go.”
Local campaigner and Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson, Oli Henman said:
"Local journalism is an important part of the community in our area. Local outlets such as the Sussex Express and the Argus play a crucial role in not only keeping us all informed about the news in Lewes and the surrounding areas, but they also play an essential role in ensuring accurate information is available locally on the fight against coronavirus and the incredible community response.
"The Government must take action in pledging a proportionate share of public health advertising spend to local media. This will not only provide financial support so that these outlets don't go under during this crisis, but will also ensure that they can continue to provide timely information to the public, which is imperative to slowing the spread of the virus."