News Media Association highlights MPs’ support during Covid-19

Posted on: April 14, 2020 by Claire Meadows

The News Media Association (NMA) has highlighted support from more than 100 MPs for the work of the news media amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

The support from across the political spectrum has seen MPs highlight the vital work of the news industry in providing the public with trusted news and information during the coronavirus outbreak, and calling for support for the sector. 

The NMA has spotlighted comments on Twitter and is continuously updating a dossier of all the quotes which it says it is using as part of its call for urgent Government support for the industry.  

Many MPs have also called for support for the struggling news media as advertising revenues decline and distribution is interrupted during lock-down measures. 

Conservative MP for Henley, John Powell MP supported calls for further help for the industry highlighting the valuable work of his local paper the Henley Standard. The importance of the role of the news media during the crisis has also been acknowledged by Esther McVey MP.

Powell said: “I have raised the question of business rate relief but in the meantime I am fully supportive of the government advertising as much as it can in newspapers such as the Henley Standard.

“There are many key messages that must be conveyed to the public about staying at home, except under specific circumstances, and these must be repeated as often as possible so I am very enthusiastic about providing the advertising income these tiles need in order to survive.

Former Housing and Planning Minister Esther McVey said: “Local papers are the lifeblood of the community and we must do everything we can to support them and the journalists working to provide us with essential news in these difficult times.

“For many people receiving their paper is the only part of their week that has not changed. We are asking people to stay in, stay separated from family and friends and make huge changes to their daily lives and their local paper is the bit of normality – a small way they can stay connected.”

The Yorkshire Post has led calls for support for the regional media which includes the extension of business rates relief to news media publishers and a fair share of public health advertising campaigns in local and national titles.