Northern Ireland weeklies welcome government ads

Northern Irish weekly newspaper groups have welcomed a shift in policy that will result in the Government placing advertising in their titles.

Previously, only ABC audited newspapers received Government advertising.

Belfast planning notices appeared only in The Belfast Telegraph, Irish News and News Letter.

Following a Government advertising review, a report said: "Government will no longer advertise in regional daily media if the advertisement is of interest only to a specific geographical area which is covered sufficiently by the weekly papers. Greater use will be made of the network of local papers circulating in the Belfast area."

The Anderstontown News Group and Alpha Newspaper Group are among those companies to benefit from the decision, which will be implemented later this year.

ANG group managing director Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: "We have always been bitterly disappointed at the Government’s refusal to allow us to bring readers the planning notices for Belfast and have no doubt that unscrupulous developers benefited from the fact that many locals were kept in the dark about their plans. We look forward to this new era."

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