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The decline in local newspapers is leading to a local news ‘desert’, where there is little or no coverage of important local issues like policing, court cases and council politics. At present, the BBC attempts to fill some of the gap by paying for ‘local democracy reporters’ who work for private local media companies, but this creates tensions and is not a sustainable solution. This article argues that granting small local media organisations charitable status, as in the United States, would also be problematic. Instead, it advocates an independent ‘Local Press Council’.

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    Frances Cairncross

    Frances Anne Cairncross is a British economist, journalist and academic and is former Rector of Exeter College, Oxford.

    Articles by Frances Cairncross
Volume 95, Issue 1

Latest Journal Issue

Volume 95, Issue 1

Includes a collection on the Future of Public Service Broadcasting, edited by Suzanne Franks and Jean Seaton. This features articles such as 'The Governance of the BBC' by Diane Coyle; 'A Public Service Internet - Reclaiming the Public Service Mission' by Helen Jay; and 'BBC Funding: Much Ado about the Cost of a Coffee a Week' by Patrick Barwise. There are a wide range of other articles including 'Back to the Stone Age: Europe's Mainstream Right and Climate Change’ by Mitya Pearson and 'Labour, the Unions and Proportional Representation' by Cameron Rhys Herbert. Finally, there is a selection of book reviews such as Lyndsey Jenkins's review of Fighting For Life: The Twelve Battles that Made Our NHS and the Struggle for Its Future by Isabel Hardman, and Victoria Brittain's review of Three Worlds, Memoirs of an Arab-Jew by Avi Shlaim.

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