I welcome the launch of a new review into press sustainability, with a particular focus on ensuring the future of local and regional press.
A free and vibrant press is a crucial part of any healthy democracy and local publications such as the MEN, Stockport Express and our many other local circulations are important and valued independent news sources for people across Cheadle.
But just as the internet has created fantastic opportunities for new platforms and new voices to emerge, it has also raised some real questions about the future of the press.
That’s why the Prime Minister has announced an external review, led by a panel of experts, to examine the range of challenges that the press industry is facing. It will explore ways of ensuring our free press operates on a level playing field in the face of rapidly developing technology.
This follows a vote in the House of Lords for stringent conditions to be inflicted on the press which could lead to smaller, local papers being put out of business. The Government will oppose this attempt to curtail press freedoms whilst working to ensure the sustainability of local press.
It is a difficult time for local newspapers but they are the lifeblood of our communities. Local papers help to shine a light on important local issues in our communities, courtrooms and local council chambers. Local media holds local power to account and uncovers injustices. That’s why I welcome this review to ensure our local newspapers like the Stockport Express can go from strength to strength in the future.