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Trinity Mirror boss Benson welcomes BBC olive branch

Trinity Mirror’s regional editorial director Neil Benson has called on the BBC to turn words into action over its plans for more content sharing with the local press.

BBC director of news James Harding told a conference on the future of local journalism last week that he wanted to work together with local newspaper groups.

James floated the idea of buying in programmes from local press groups for use on their own regional outlets and making audio and video content available for local newspaper sites.

He also said he was setting up a working party headed by BBC head of regions David Holdsworth to take the issue forward.

Neil, who also spoke at the conference, said: “James Harding’s comments are to be welcomed but the focus now needs to be on how we turn his positive remarks into a solid working relationship.

“We have had many conversations with the BBC over the years but very little has come from them in terms of meaningful activity.

“I think James’ involvement brings a new impetus, from the top of the BBC, and I hope we can work through the detail with him and his team quickly and effectively.

“The first, simple step would be for the BBC to link back to our websites when publishing stories that are originated by us, and to credit us when picking up our stories on TV and radio.”