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Editor calls for new BBC regional press platform as paper review axed

Richard DugganAn editor has urged the BBC to give regional journalists a new platform after ending its daily newspaper review.

Richard Duggan, Newsquest’s regional editor for Lancashire & Greater Manchester, has shared his sadness after the last episode of The Papers aired on BBC News on Monday.

Richard, pictured, was among the regional press editors to regularly appear on the review programme, which saw guests review daily front pages alongside BBC journalists.

Posting about the segment’s closure on Twitter, Richard, who is responsible for titles including the Bolton News, Lancashire Telegraph and Oldham Times, described the decision as “a shame” and said it had been “great to see more regional and local journalists” on national television.

Speaking to HTFP, he added: “I was so disappointed to hear The Papers would not continue.

“It was a privilege to appear on the show and present a regional and local journalist’s perspective on the biggest stories alongside a national angle.

“I hope the BBC will look to find a suitable replacement that allows for the voices and thoughts of the non-national press to be represented.”

The decision to stop airing The Papers comes as part of the BBC’s plans to focus on “digital first” content.

Instead, TV and radio programmes and websites like BBC Breakfast, Radio 4’s The Today Programme, Politics Live, Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg and BBC News Online will feature press reviews and stories.

In a statement, the BBC said: “We think it is important to feature newspapers and will also continue to invite editors and journalists from across the industry to discuss the news and important issues of the day across the BBC channels.”