The plans to create over 60 local news sites by the BBC, funded at around £23m per year for several years is again coming under criticism from the Newspaper Society; which represents the majority of local UK newspaper publishers. The proposal by the BBC comes at a time when the UK regional newspaper publishers are placing greater resources and emphasis on their own local sites and local video content. The BBC proposal is undergoing a formal round of tests against public value against the Charter of the BBC.
Newspaper Society press release:
The depth of concern across the UK local media industry at the BBC’s plans to spend £68 million* of licence fee money duplicating their online news and sport services with a network of 65 local news video sites has been demonstrated by the sheer number of submissions, meetings and presentations which companies have made in the past six weeks, said the NS in its own response to the proposals.In an unprecedented reaction to the threat posed to local media businesses, companies representing over 80 per cent of the industry have responded directly to the BBC Trust and Ofcom as part of the public value test and market impact assessment processes, said David Newell, director of the NS. Many others have joined them in voicing their concerns through the NS.