...and how to work with local newspapers

Public sector comms experts were advised to explore ways of working with local newspapers, rather than ploughing resources into council publications.

Local newspapers: call for support
Local newspapers: call for support

South London Press managing director Peter Edwards told delegates at the conference: 'I challenge you to go back to your local authorities to explore ways of working together, so you can achieve the communications requirements for your residents and that you also support your local newspapers.'

Lamenting the demise of local news, he added that council papers could be 'the straw that breaks the camel's back'.

The Newspaper Society has written to Secretary of State for communities and local government Eric Pickles, calling for a meeting to discuss concerns about council newspapers and local government ad practices.

But Hillingdon Council director of comms David Holdstock questioned the Society's mandate to represent local papers, asking: 'Are they actually representing the true feelings of the newspaper industry at the moment? No one I've spoken to at the top newspapers say they support what the Newspaper Society is saying.'

Hammersmith and Fulham Council director of comms Simon Jones added: 'We want local papers to realise they have a huge responsibility - that's what's been lacking.'

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