The Newspaper Society is to meet with the BBC Trust and Ofcom as part of its campaign against the broadcaster’s plans for 65 local news websites which it fears will compromise the efforts of local newspapers’ online.
The society has already met with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform this week and wants to set up more meetings with government to explain the potential damage to the press.
As the society’s director David Newell put it, many believe there is no market failure to justify a BBC intervention into local and regional media and that the ultra-local plans would merely replicate the existing online services of newspapers.
The BBC denies this and even argues that its local endeavors will help local newspapers by linking to their content. It also says that most of the new sites are new at all and simply replicate its radio regions.