YES - Peter Kemp, strategy director, Mediaedge:cia
The press industry calling for government support naturally throws up many questions for those within and outside the industry, but the point should be made that advertising is only one remedial lever.
That aside, as a planner I know instinctively that any kind of mandate to shift monies from one medium to another for any reason apart from meeting specific marketing objectives, simply wouldn't work in practice.
However, if we momentarily stop to look at this issue as a "citizen" and not through black-rimmed planner's glasses, we could realise other benefits. If regional press can provide a trustworthy voice for COI while simultaneously binding a community, then perhaps regional press does warrant more support.
Ultimately, though, the decision will always lie at the door of the press buyer who has to interrogate the huge cost per thousands.
NO - Simon Price, board director, Brilliant Media
Suggesting any client, let alone the Government that is spending taxpayers' money, should make a decision about its media mix based on any objective other than an appropriate reach of its audience, is worrying.
There is a case for the Government to ensure it considers regional media and the role it could play within the media mix.
However, outdoor offers something very different, both in terms of format and audience. It has a history of proven success in promotinggovernment messages.
I wholeheartedly agree that the Government needs to work with regional publishers to find a way to support a medium that is still a valuable resource to many local people.
However, muddying the waters of the media-buying relationship is not the way forward.
NO - Natasha Murray, managing partner. MPG
This throws up a number of issues, not least the basis for communications planning decisions and the Government's role in that.
Redeploying campaign budgets to bail out any medium would not appear to be asensible strategy - particularly where the long-term survival of the medium is based around more deep-rooted issues. One would certainly question how this change would deliver the type of audience the Government wishes to reach.
Have regional press titles missed the opportunity to drive readers online? The outdoor industry, however, has embraced digital technology and developed posting techniques that now allow it to be more flexible than ever.
Outdoor is challenging press as a direct competitor and its efforts in future-proofing its industry should be supported and not penalised.
NO - Mark Jarvis, founding partner, The7Stars
What's happening in the regional press is undoubtedly painful and there's no doubt these titles provide a useful service for the communities they serve. But, ultimately, if the paper is not good enough to attract advertisers on its own merits, then it should not exist.
The developments in digital media have created serious structural issues in the advertising market that impact on every media owner. Not everyone can be "bailed out", in whatever form that takes. If this were to happen, where would it stop?
Would the Government shift spend to a struggling TV channel? What about local commercial radio? Regional newspapers haven't developed their products and brands quickly enough to cope with the changing market conditions.
Adopting this as a strategy would be a waste of taxpayers' money and a real market abuse. Government advertising budgets should be spent where they work best - as simple as that.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk