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Future of local news to be debated in Commons

A parliamentary debate is being held in the House of Commons today over the future of local news and media following the recent wave of job losses.

Several MPs across the UK have requested the debate to thrash out the next step for local print and broadcast news in the wake of recent redundancy announcements by major newspaper publishers and media organisations.

Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne was among those who asked for the debate after MEN Media announced plans to centralise all editorial staff on the Manchester Evening News and its sister weeklies.

Two of Mr Gwynne’s local papers, the Stockport Express and Tameside Advertiser, are among those affected by the plans which would see reporters based in Manchester city centre.

He told HTFP: “You can see what’s going to happen. You’re going to end up with a weekly paper that’s basically got all news stories that have appeared in the MEN with a few token Stockport and Tameside stories.

“Because of the sheer number of requests from MPs, they have decided they would hold a topical debate about local and regional news.

“I know Reading MPs are concerned about the similar proposals to what we have got in Greater Manchester.

“Because the debate is titled local and regional news, I suspect some of them will be raising recent proposals by ITV to cut back on regional news programmes.”

  • The National Union of Journalist southern chapel at MEN Media has submitted an online petition opposing the company’s plans which has so far gathered over 200 signatures.