Release time: immediate
New ways of working proposed by ITV are suggesting that local news is too expensive to keep operational but the CIoJ – the world’s oldest journalism Union – is worried that these changes will isolate the disadvantaged even more.
CIoJ General Secretary, Dominic Cooper, said: “Local news bulletins about the people and places we know, keeps us all part of the communities where we live and work. For the disabled, poor and elderly these slots are free and accessible and keep them in touch in a way that nothing else will.
“This Government has made a strong commitment to help the disadvantaged and MPs who know how important local news is to them should be lobbying media regulator Ofcom to register their protest against plans to cut the broadcaster’s regional and sub-regional news services from 27 to nine.”
ITV announced the plans in September as part of a five-year strategy, saying the move would save the broadcaster up to £40m a year, around a third of its £120m regional programming budget.
Mr Cooper said: “The CIoJ has written to Ofcom because we think these plans will slaughter any idea of public service broadcasting. It is ridiculous to imagine that people in the Westcountry and the West of England will bother to watch the news when a hospital they have never heard of is being closed or a police station staffed in a different way which does not affect them.
“Journalism is fundamentally a way of telling people what will affect their lives and for the same reason MPs hold surgeries in their constituencies. They know the exercise is expensive and time consuming but they realize the value of listening out for the child who pointed out the Emperor had no clothes.”
Press contact: Dominic Cooper, tel. 0207 252 1187, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ), 2 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, London SE16 2XU. Website www.cioj.co.uk
Notes for Editors:
Formed in 1884, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) is the world’s oldest established professional body for journalists, and a representative voice of media and communications professionals throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.