Rusbridger: State funding is needed to save local press

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Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has a solution to the woes currently afflicting the regional press – public funding.

He argues today that some of the public funding which will be needed to safeguard public service broadcasting outside the BBC should go to local newspapers to support their fledgling video news services.

It is difficult to think of a more worthy cause for public funding than local papers, with the vital role they play in binding communities together and holding those in power to account. And if the banks can get state-funding then why not the press?

Rock-solid safeguards would obviously be needed to maintain editorial independence. But I think Rusbridger is right – if local newspapers really do move into meltdown, the government has to step in to save them.

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