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Ex regional press journalist joins Cabinet

A former journalist who began his career on the Exeter Express and Echo has today been put in charge of the nation’s media.

Ben Bradshaw has joined Gordon Brown’s Cabinet as secretary of state for culture, media and sport after his predecessor Andy Burnham was promoted to health secretary in the reshuffle.

Mr Bradshaw, one of the first openly gay MPs, was a reporter for the Express and Echo between 1984 and 1985 and also worked for the Eastern Daily Press in Norwich.

He then made the move from print to radio and joined BBC in 1986, working in a variety of broadcasting roles until his election as a Labour MP in 1997.

Mr Bradshaw will now have the task of overseeing the government’s efforts to help local newspapers through the downturn.

The change at the top of the department comes just days before the publication of the Digital Britain report in which the government is expected to set out its long-term vision for the UK media.

Mr Burnham said this week that sustaining local journalism will be a “crucial” element of the report, due to be published on 16 June.

Speaking at a Broadcasting Press Guild briefing, he said “old ways” of paying for local news are changing. “But such is the importance of this in a democracy that a way has to be found to provide it and sustain it,” he added.

“What we’re very clear about is that we need news at regional, sub-regional and local level beyond the BBC. That is an absolutely firm commitment. I’ve argued for it long and hard.”


OldHack (08/06/2009 17:45:39)
What the hell is the comment that he is openly gay got to do with this news?
One’s sexuality is irelevent here.
I see no mention of the underfire hetrosexual Gordon Brown in your piece.
C’mon, behave…

rob (08/06/2009 23:18:57)
Bradshaw was very keen to out himself in 1997 when standing against Adrian Rogers, about as homophobic a conservative as you can get.
In the same year the staff at Exeter’s Express and Echo called on him for help when work conditions deterioated, however he was more keen on keeping on the right side of the editor than helping fellow NUJ members! Don’t expect to much support for staff from the new cabinet member.