The Government is being asked to help pay the training costs associated with the move to multimedia journalism as part of an action plan to help the regional press withstand the economic downturn.
Now the two leading industry bodies have sent Mr Burnham a series of action points setting out possible ways in which the Government can support regional publishers.
As well as help with training costs, they also want to see search engines such as Google compensating local news providers for generating the material from which they are able to profit.
The action plan calls on the Government to:
In addition, ministers are already discussing relaxing controls over regional and local newspaper mergers, transfers and cross-media ownership, which both the NS and SoE have urged.
Nigel Pickover, president of the Society of Editors and editor of the Evening Star, Ipswich, said: “We are pleased that the Secretary of State is concerned about the special problems of the regional press and these ideas could have a direct and speedy effect on local and regional papers and therefore on local communities and democracy.
“The industry is not asking for special treatment but rather for government action to help ensure there is a level playing field in a rapidly changing media market place. The problem is serious and urgent.”