Hackney Council’s assistant chief executive Lorraine Langham claimed the
Newspaper Licensing Association was placing ‘an enormous strain on
public funds’, during a heated IPR debate on newspaper copying charges.
‘Every penny spent on the NLA is a penny not spent on public services:
not just by local government, but also by the ambulance, fire, police
and health services,’ she said. ‘Newspapers need PR officers. The NLA
should be careful it doesn’t kill the golden goose.’
But Andrew Hughes, former chief executive of the Newspaper Licensing
Association, which imposes the charges, dismissed the IPR debate as a
‘pantomime’. ‘I was disappointed at the tenor of the event which was
marked by booing, hissing and cat-calling,’ he said.
Hughes said the heated reception at last week’s Spotlight on Skills
debate - which was also attended by public sector figures like Sussex
Police chief constable Paul Whitehouse and Peter Smith, head of PR at
the Association of Metropolitan Authorities - contrasted sharply with
the reaction of the private sector.
He told the 80-strong audience the Association wanted to draw attention
to the legitimate rights of publishers and to deal with the issue in a
professional way, and that licensing systems already operated in the US