Local press right to be livid

Once again the term “cross-media ownership” is open to interpretation. “Cross” is one word to describe Midland News Association. “Livid” would be another. “Bewildered” would be another.

It’s the latest regional newspaper group to fall foul of competition rules when bidding for a local radio station, in this case Telford FM. This despite having guaranteed the editorial independence of the station.

The Radio Authority ruled that the takeover would not be in the public interest.

With less than a fortnight before Ofcom takes on the mantle of media regulation, the regional press will feel this decision is a poor portent that things are about to change for the better.

They feel their expertise in journalism can be of greater benefit to local radio than other media owners more interested in hard rock than hard news.

Meanwhile they look across at the national scene, where one R Murdoch owns 33 per cent of the national newspaper market and has satellite broadcasting pretty well sewn up too.

You bet they’re cross.

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