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Leaked Labour manifesto pledges ‘review’ into state of local media

Corbyn 1Labour is promsing to hold a national review into local media if it wins the election amid concerns about declining numbers of journalists, according to the party’s leaked manifesto.

The draft document, which was covered in a number of national newspapers this morning and has appeared in full on the Guido Fawkes blog, says the party will look into the closure of local media outlets if voted into office on 8 June.

It also states Labour’s intention to implement the recommendations of part one, and commence part two, of the Leveson inquiry and reaffirms its support for the BBC.

The contents of the 43-page manifesto, which has already been dubbed the ‘longest suicide note in history’ by some national commentators, are officially due to be agreed upon at a summit of senior Labour figures known as the ‘Clause V meeting’ today.

Under the section outlining the party’s policy on media, the draft reads: “Local newspapers and broadcasting in Britain are an important part of our democracy and our culture.

“We are concerned about closures of local media outlets and the reductions in number of local journalists. Labour will hold a national review into local media.”

On Leveson, it says: “Victims of phone hacking have been let down by a Conservative government that promised them justice, but failed to follow through.

“We will implement the recommendations of part one of the Leveson Inquiry and commence part two of the inquiry that will look into the corporate governance failures that allowed the hacking scandal to occur.”

Finally the party reiterates its commitment to public service broadasting saying:  “The BBC is a national asset which we should all be proud of. Unlike the Conservatives, Labour will always support it and uphold its independence.

“We will ensure the BBC and public service broadcasting has a healthy future. Labour is committed to keeping Channel 4 in public ownership and will guarantee the future of Welsh-language broadcaster S4C.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron have joined Prime Minister Theresa May in backing the local press industry’s Fighting Fake News campaign.

Mr Corbyn said: “Journalism at its best hold public officials to account, represents the concerns of the public and reports real news.

“The danger of social media fake news is really, really serious. Somebody can make up an incident that didn’t happen or can accuse somebody of something they didn’t do and it gains huge currency on social media in a way at a local paper couldn’t because of laws of libel and journalistic standards.”

Mr Farron added: “In the run up to the general election, it is essential for people to be able to access trustworthy information and make well-informed decisions. By investing in high quality local journalism, local newspapers enable and support this process which underpins democracy.”

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  • May 11, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Let’s hope this pledge includes an independent review into how the industry’s been run / mis managed over the past 3-4+ years which has resulted in many of the problems now facing it

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