front page december 5
The local side of the press - newspapers such as the Uxbridge Gazette - was singled out for praise by Lord Justice Leveson in his report into the industry.
Lord Justice Leveson said that while complaints about accuracy and other issues were made about regional titles, the criticisms of the press culture and ethics surrounding it raised at the inquiry did not affect them.
In his inquiry report, published last week, he singled out the regional press for praise, saying its contribution to local life was ‘truly without parallel’.
He then called for the government to take action to help safeguard regional newspapers after highlighting the declines in revenues they have faced.
The judge pointed out the struggle for survival facing many local titles, saying ‘their demise would be a huge setback for communities’.
His report said: “In relation to regional and local newspapers, I do not make a specific recommendation but I suggest that the government should look urgently as to what action it might be able take to help safeguard the ongoing viability of this much valued and important part of the British press.
“It is clear to me that local, high-quality and trusted newspapers are good for our communities, our identity and our democracy and play an important social role.”
He went on to say: “Although accuracy and similar complaints are made against local newspapers, the criticisms of culture, practices and ethics of the press that have been raised in this inquiry do not affect them: on the contrary, they have been much praised.”