PPA calls for single cross-media training group

UK media companies across all platforms should consider forming one umbrella trade body, according to the outgoing chief executive of the Periodicals Publishers Association.

Ian Locks said the idea of a central organisation across all print, online, TV and radio companies would strengthen the industry against attacks from pressure groups, EU legislation and the British Government.

Locks, who was awarded the Marcus Morris Award for services to the magazines industry this week, told Press Gazette: ‘Personally, I have always been an advocate of one publishing body for all UK media. There is actually a case for having one umbrella media organisation.”

Looking forwards, Locks said the PPA challenge would be to widen its remit to better reflect industry wide changes due to technology development and to ward off threats to the publishing business from outside parties.

The idea of rebranding PPA as PPA Media to fully embrace industry changes has already been mooted, he said.

In the immediate future, the PPA has pledged to fight on issues affecting the retail supply chain, VAT and changes to postal rates.

In the medium to long-term, Locks said that the PPA awards ‘desperately needs to be refreshed”, whether by expanding the remit of the magazines’ awards or by creating new awards for diverging wings of the publishing community’s businesses such as digital and events.

Locks has been CEO of PPA since February 1989. Prior to joining PPA he held various editorial posts with Northcliffe Newspapers and London, Middlesex and Essex Newspapers, of which he was editorial director for six years. He has also been on the Printing and Publishing Industry Training Board, responsible for regional newspapers, and ran the Association of Free Newspapers.

He received the Press Gazette award for services to the magazine industry in 1994. He is due to step down from the PPA as soon as a successor has been appointed.

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