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MPs call on newspaper bosses to invest in quality journalism

A group of MPs are calling on newspaper bosses to invest in quality journalism rather than cutting jobs.

An Early Day Motion expressing “grave concern” at recent redundancy announcements across the country has been tabled by Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell, a former broadcast journalist.

The parliamentary petition, which has so far been signed by seven MPs, raises the concern that news coverage may suffer through job cuts and mergers.

It reads: This House expresses its grave concern at the hundreds of jobs, including those of many journalists, which have been cut at local newspapers in recent weeks, including more than one in five journalists at the Manchester Evening News; notes that profit levels are up to 37 per cent in some parts of the newspaper industry and that all local newspaper groups are making substantial profits; is concerned that coverage of local news, local and national politics, sport, arts and other events will suffer as a result of the cuts and mergers; and therefore urges newspaper proprietors to put investment in quality journalism at the heart of their future strategies.

The EDM follows job cuts announcements at newspapers across the industry, including the Manchester Evening News, Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, Bristol Evening Post and Western Daily Press, York Evening Press, Newsquest in Glasgow and the Western Mail, South Wales Echo and Wales on Sunday.

The MPs who have so far signed the petition are John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington); Tony Lloyd (Manchester Central); Angus Robertson (Moray); David Drew (Stroud); Elfyn Llwyd (Meirionnydd Nant Conwy) and Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North).

Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or e-mail [email protected]