Oliver Letwin has confirmed that Government is looking at ways to exempt journalism from a clause in the Deregulation Bill which would repeal PACE protections guaranteeing courts hear the media’s objections to police applications for their journalistic material.
Speaking in a House of Commons debate on the Bill this week, the Minister for Government Policy said it was never the intention for Clause 47 to remove the protections – as highlighted by the NS and other media organizations.
Mr Letwin said the Government would consult on the issue, and the NS is to meet him with other organisations next week to discuss the clause, the implications for journalism and ways the clause could be amended to exempt journalism.
“In the case that the media are concerned about, a production order would be used to ask a media organisation to produce some piece of information it holds” said Mr Letwin. “Those media organisations were worried that they would no longer have the guarantee of their day in court to contest such a production order, because the effect of clause 47 would be to replace the need for the existence of primary legislation governing inter partes rules with the criminal procedure rules committee.
“The media were afraid that the criminal procedure rules committee might in some way weaken the inter partes rules. I have good news for my hon. Friend and his Committee, and indeed for the media organisations—which, incidentally, I have offered to meet later in the week or next week.
“As it was no part of the intention of clause 47 to do that, we are now looking for ways specifically to exempt journalism and all such media items from the clause. If I may, I would like to discuss with him and his Committee the precise drafting of that change, so that we can be sure that the media organisations themselves and the select committee are content with the changes we make.”
Speaking during the debate, John Whittingdale MP said: “My right hon. Friend said that the Bill’s provisions were being introduced on the advice of those who were most affected by the regulations, but he will be aware of the concern that has been expressed by a wide range of media and broadcasting organisations about the effect of clause 47 in removing important journalistic protections. Is there anything he can say to reassure them that it will not have the effect they fear?”
David Davis MP said: “Unlike in most areas of the Bill, where I am absolutely behind the Government, this is an area where some of the rules are constitutionally quite important—we have just heard one example. There might be a number of other areas, which have not come up so quickly, where we would not want to undermine our constitutional protections, so will my right hon. Friend rethink clause 47?”
Mr Letwin responded: “I think it would be sensible to have further consultation, to see whether we elicit any responses from others who might be concerned. If in the course of that my right hon. Friend discovers any other bodies that are concerned, or any groups of people who might or should be concerned, my door is open to him to have discussions about that.”
Caroline Lucas MP added: “Many organisations have been extremely vocal in raising this issue over several months. The Newspaper Society, The Guardian and many others have warned about the impact of closed material proceedings and so on.”…Continue Reading...
The Communities Department’s Fire Kills campaign is running in NS Featurelink again after the fire services said local press activity last year had led to a significant reduction in house fires.
Ads will run in nearly 100 local press titles across the UK when the campaign kicks off next month, accompanied by locally tailored editorial available on the Featurelink website.
Fire Kills has used the NS Featurelink service for a number of years and it is a “well established” and important part of the media mix, according to the Fire Kills annual report for 2013.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was quoted as saying: “This year, we used Featurelink to support our campaign around electrical safety, which helped to reduce electrical fires by 12 per cent in January and February 2013.”
Fire Kills was one of several Government campaigns to feature in Campaign magazine’s top 10 regional press ads of the year for 2013.
The magazine said: “Local media has been shown in research to be the most effective medium for getting people to test smoke alarms regularly, and this arresting image of a fire-damaged clock perfectly encapsulates the message.
“The fact that accidental fires in the home decreased 12 per cent last year – and that 86 per cent of homes now have fire alarms – is proof of the campaign’s success.”…Continue Reading...
organised by the Weekly Independent Newspaper Association to promote the strength of the local weekly newspaper as a focal point of community life.
“During the recession and throughout the whole of my 65 unbroken years in local newspapers, I have become well aware of how strong and well-established are the newspapers in the local press,” he will tell delegates at the Tindle Newspapers Top Management Conference in Taunton today. “We shall continue for many years to come giving a vital service to the local communities of the UK.”
David Newell, director of the Newspaper Society which represents regional and local news media, said: “Weekly newspapers are the cornerstone of the newspaper industry in the UK. They connect communities and businesses together in a way in which no other media can. Today marks the launch of a nationwide initiative to promote weekly newspapers and celebrate their success and their future. The Newspaper Society will play its full part in supporting the WINA campaign and in ensuring key opinion formers understand the central role weekly newspapers have in today’s media landscape.”
‘Local Weekly Newspapers – With You All the Way’ will take the form of a TV campaign with a 30-second showcase animated TV advertisement featuring a character called Ray and his local weekly paper at different life stages. The ad will run on 21 February in TV regions specific to WINA newspaper titles and will be backed up by a 90-second version of the video which all weekly newspapers across the UK will be invited to run on their websites.
A supporting campaign of newspaper advertisements, website banners, outdoor ads and radio jingles will be provided within a package for every weekly newspaper in the UK. The campaign will be available to view at http://localweeklynewspapers.co.uk from tomorrow (Friday 7 February)
Joanna Parlby, chairman of WINA and managing director of Newark Advertiser Media Group, will outline the campaign at the Tindle conference later today. She said: “We are working to dispel some of the myths that local newspapers and the role they have in their communities may be under threat… we are confident that the closeness and trust we share with the readers and advertisers we have in every community in print and online will enable us to carry on serving them as we have done through the many economic upturns and downturns….”
Sir Ray will tell the conference:“We are proud to say that the local press is fighting fit and our heads are well above water.” He sets out 10 facts from his own company during the recent recession to prove it:
- Tindle Newspapers has launched 17 new local titles and purchased another 16 during the past six years. He fully expects to launch and buy more titles.
- Localisation clearly enhances both local revenue and circulation. Tindle Newspapers first used this technique to resuscitate the Tenby Observer after its closure was announced in 1978. It has been profitable ever since.
- National advertising has fallen but local revenue has grown without the need to increase ad rates. In his South London titles, it has increased by 30 per cent as a result of the new title launches.
- Newspaper profits have been hit but Tindle Newspapers Group’s current year profits will double those of last year by the end of March 2014 and are forecast to continue growing.
- The turnaround at Tindle’s London titles has brought them back into profit and enabled the group to give every member of staff a salary increase.
- Sir Ray and his group have bought 51 million shares in Johnston Press, making them the largest JP shareholder in the UK. The shares have trebled in value since purchase, bolstering reserves which has enabled Tindle to avoid compulsory journalist redundancies.
- Local papers are well established and survive the test of time: two Tindle titles are over 200 years old, nearly 80 of them are over 100 years old.
- Throughout its 50-year history, Tindle Newspapers has never borrowed a single penny.
- Many independent local weekly newspaper publishers putting like Tindle Newspapers have weathered the storm in good shape by cutting costs, a greater focus on localness and increasing audiences in print and online.
- Local newspapers will continue to be the most certain and effective way for advertisers to reach the population of any given town in the UK.
Advertisements from the independent Appointment Panel calling for applications for the position of Independent Press Standards Organisation chair have appeared in national and regional newspapers this week.
“The IPSO Appointment Panel is now looking to appoint the inaugural Chair of IPSO. This is a real challenge and a rare opportunity to lead in the creation of an important new national body,” the ad says.
“The Chair will be one of IPSO’s seven Independent Directors, coming from outside the industry. You will be a proven leader with experience in a complex and high-profile environment,”
“You will be able to demonstrate independence, sound judgement and resilience, as well as the ability to work and communicate effectively in a public and high profile environment. Finally, you will be committed to protecting the rights of the public whilst maintaining freedom of expression.”
IPSO is set to commence operations in May. Over 90 per cent of the UK’s national press, and the majority of the regional press and major magazine publishers have signed up to it.
Applications for the position of Chair should be made to Saxton Bampfylde – the IPSO Appointment Panel’s employment advisor – at BAIPA@saxbam.com – by 25 February.
The Appointment Panel is chaired by Sir Hayden Phillips (pictured), with Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Paul Horrocks, Dame Denise Platt, and John Witherow serving on the panel.…Continue Reading...