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MPs to examine challenges facing local news journalism

14 February 2022

The DCMS Committee will examine what challenges face local news organisations and what support should be put in place in order to maintain their democratic function.

The Sustainability of Local Journalism inquiry will consider the operation of the market for local journalism and how that is affected by increasing competition from social media and public service broadcasters.

MPs will assess the impact of the findings of the Cairncross Review which examined how to create a sustainable future for journalism, with particular relevance to ensuring the continued and the long-term supply of local journalism.

Chair's comment 

DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight MP said:

“It is clear that the market for local news journalism has shifted considerably over the past two decades. The need to know what is going on in your area is as great as it ever has been, arguably greater, but there is a very real challenge in how to deliver that.

“Local news organisations increasingly face competition from social media despite moving their own titles online.

“How can we maintain and protect the type of journalism that reports what your council is doing, coverage that is essential to local democracy?

“We’re asking what more needs to be done to make local news journalism sustainable and what form that support should take.”

Terms of Reference

The DCMS Committee is inviting written evidence by Thursday 31 March 2022 addressing the following areas:

  • How are public service broadcasters, particularly the BBC, supporting or disrupting local journalism?
  • What has been the impact of the 2019 Cairncross review on local journalism, and what more needs to be done?
  • How can the Government support local news outlets to develop sustainable business models?
  • What role does social media play in local journalism?
  • How are partisan and hyper-partisan news outlets disrupting local news production?

Further information

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