The Daily Mail has called on the Chancellor to do more to support the regional press.
In a comment piece, the paper called on Rishi Sunak to make funds available for a public health ad campaign in news media and for business rates relief available to other sectors to be extended to local news media titles.
The paper said: “Many publications – some in existence for more than a century – may not survive. That would be disastrous. It would snuff out the most effective source people have of finding out about outbreaks in their community, measures taken to tackle them and where they can seek help.
“What’s more, it would cause incalculable damage to local democracy. Politicians, police and health services would be far less likely to be held to account and corruption and malpractice more likely to flourish.
“So what can be done? The Government should extend the business rates cut. It’s bizarre the lifeboat should save betting shops, while news titles go bust. And as ministers look beyond the current crisis to deal with the social problems and ensure business recovers, they must embark on a major campaign of public information.
“Chancellor Rishi Sunak has impressed with his imaginative contagion response. By safeguarding this crucial industry, he’d win even more plaudits.”