Chancellor George Osborne has fired a warning to the BBC to guard against “suffocating local news” ahead of its charter renewal.
In an interview with the Radio Times Mr Osborne added the BBC should be “the national broadcaster without being a monopoly broadcaster.”
In February MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee published a 164-page report on the corporation’s future, in which it called for a “more symbiotic” relationship with the regional press.
Proposals included top-slicing the licence fee to help fund “public service journalism” by local and regional media, and extending the BBC’s independent production quota to cover local news.
Mr Osborne told Radio Times: “The BBC needs to be the national broadcaster without being a monopoly broadcaster.
“I think one of the things the BBC has to look out for is not suffocating local news and making sure they reflect the diversity of opinion in our country and don’t become too mono-culture.”
The BBC responded it is a “strong supporter of local journalism” and has said it will provide more links to local news outlets in its regional coverage.
Content sharing schemes in Yorkshire and North-East England have seen links to web stories on local newspaper sites appear on BBC live feeds.