Future of newspapers is all about public trust

Really good piece by Polly Toynbee in this morning’s Guardian on what is to be done about failing local newspapers. The first paper who ever paid me (a fiver for a band review), The Holme Valley Express, went bust a couple of months back. Many others are in navigating similar straits. But maybe, just maybe, argues Toynbee, a new business model, one based on the idea of a public trust, could save local papers.

“Bring in the money available from awful ITV local news. Add in some BBC money: their local news is shamingly bad too, partly because the area covered is too wide. Then oblige local councils to stop wasting money on their own Pravda sheets, and to buy space in clearly defined zones in their local news trusts. It might need a small subvention from council tax, too. Roll all this into a local trust with an obligation to good reporting, fair rules and open access, and you could have independent local news across web, print, radio and television offering a genuine community service. It is on the table.”

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