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05 December 2019

#TrustedElectionNews Campaign Reaches 16 Million People

The News Media Association’s #TrustedElectionNews campaign with the local media sector urging party leaders to spell out what they would do for the news media sector if elected, and to put a stop fake political party “newspapers”  has reached 16.4 million people in a week.

In an op ed published by local news brands across the UK, NMA chairman David Dinsmore called for the party leaders to answer the NMA’s five questions about how they would help the local media industry if they were elected.

Mr Dinsmore said: “We want them to take steps to protect press freedom, crack down on the tech giants who use our content yet contribute next to nothing back into the industry, and move government advertising spend back into trusted news media channels.

“By doing this, whoever leads the next government will help ensure a bright future for the news brands which contribute so much to our democratic way of life.”

He urged the political parties to stop publishing election campaigning material which mimics the look and feel of independent local news media describing the practice as “a cynical attempt by politicians to mislead the public.”

As part of the campaign, the local media industry wrote a letter to politicians urging them to focus their efforts on helping to find a future for sustainable journalism rather than passing off “fake newspaper propaganda as trusted local news.”

The publishers said: “Whichever party wins the election, we call on you to implement the recommendations of the Cairncross Report, move government advertising spend back into trusted news media channels and protect press freedom.”

In an op ed calling for the publications to be stopped, Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray said: “What irony that all of the main parties have pledged their support to protect and maintain a vibrant local press and yet then set out to undermine the public’s trust in the medium.”

Titles across the industry have got behind the campaign including The Yorkshire Post, Eastern Daily Press, Derby Telegraph, Bristol Post, Hereford Times, Bournemouth Echo, Basingstoke Gazette, The Scotsman and Northern Echo have backed the campaign.

Editors have challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the NMA’s five questions for party leaders during visits to newspaper headquarters on the campaign trail. 

According to JICREG analysis, the campaign has reached 16.4 million people in a week.