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Read this: Who cares about local news?

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Who cares about local news?…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 is tiktok new Huawei last week Mike pompeo the US Secretary of State said the app tiktok that is put your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party and the trump administration was considering a ban then on Friday Amazon email staff to tell them to delete the app from their phone because of and I quote security risks bizarrely Amazon them and said the email has been sent in error.

What is going on why the sudden panic in the west about TiK ToK you deny all the allegations levelled against them.

That's one of the questions for today show but the bigger question is which were going to try very hard to find answers today and that is how to save local joiners because the pandemic has brought much of the industry to its knees.

Let me introduce you to.

Goodwin is co-editor of the ferret carrying good afternoon at the ferret sounds like a gastro pub in Hitchin or something similar, but it's a lot more to this it is yeah, it is an award-winning investigations journalism platform for Scotland and beyond Julie and we were founded in to report 2014-15 with a remit of public interest journalism investigations long form writing high quality news Scottish Property that held in so we've been following that up all week and we're also doing today.

We've got a piece about disused land has been lying vacant across Scotland and the way that's been banked.

Thank you very much.

We were the first business model which will tell us about shortly is often cited as representing a sustainable model for jennison.

We're going to find out about it soon from one of the newest title.

To some of the oldest Ian Carter is the editorial director of the Iliffe Media Group afternoon your newspaper group is one of the largest privately-owned in the country and I think they said that you've still got two title that go back to the sun in hundreds of them and tells about the business briefly we have to the oldest newspaper in the country, which was set up in 1732 the Mercury setup almost the same time I got some of the countries use newspaper as well such as the 200 actually and also got Radio Times television station down and out as an independent owned by Edward VI the fan in publishing for over 200 years and find out more about the challenges that you're facing and excitement of being a local news shortly good.

Have you with us Ian Tanner Street who was the general secretary of the National Union of journalists?

About your earlier career, so I'm the best part of the decade interesting Times and as the group was taken over in the early part of my career by Richard Desmond how do I know you mean interesting in a euphemistic way Michelle has come out with a new recovery plan and we're going to talk about some ideas to help out the street shortly.

Thank you very much for joining us first.

I will return to the question is at the top and let me channel the headline writing skills and Michelle from her Express days.

Does the clock ticked for tiktok see what you did there TiK ToK of cortisone bytedance the Chinese company and it looks set to really integrating the west not least by hiring Kevin Maher the Disney executive to be to see you back in May it is suddenly becoming a geopolitical football and Dr Tim Stevens is a leg.

Global Security at King's College London George's now good afternoon Tim at let's pick up on what might compare said which is that tiktok put and I quote your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party Company says that is not true.

What's your assessment of instruments in place in China that Chinese companies to share data regarding comes from with the Chinese state, so that sense there of the situation does exist in which that might come to pass indications that tiktok or it's parent company have passed on to examples the private data American citizens to the Chinese at the same time whether it has has not is much more difficult to convince Americans that it would not wear a mask to buy the Chinese state ok and if your President Trump in a trade dispute with China what levels do you gain Tim by putting a Chinese app that says it's

Control by Chinese government on the table, what's the logic there? This is about trade dispute one of the one of these is that like TiK ToK which has a very very high global profile and languishing somewhere in his huge.

Is it 800 million people running for a company like TiK ToK or indeed in other contexts a company like a way which is a telecoms company makes a lot of public relations sense if you want 800 million million tiktok has got 800 million.

That's more than Twitter by long way.

Is it inconceivable that a western country you talk about visible tiktok, is it inconceivable that western?

Actually ever banned tiktok.

I ran away is one thing that you can't find wireless earphones for sale in the US Canada neither Here nor There for consumers, but take away a whole platform that millions of Citizens working every day.

That's a different thing isn't it over again as well which is the west going to close down a platform based on speculative Hearsay so you actually going to close down a medium of expression 401 the basis of a hunch that is terrible Optics if you claim to be global leaders and free speech and democratic expression exactly is Chinese equivalent in an apparel company team bytedance runs them as separate apps as Chinese tech companies growing power and Influence does that represent the modified to visit Which is.

One product for China and one for the rest of the world and then you can conceivably claim that your non-chinese product is independent of Beijing is it done this as well which is google.com exist to serve a Chinese market has to comply with tiny standards and restrictions, but you can't do google.com in China operate 100 slightly different set of constraints and opportunities that companies have had to do deals to do as well over 20 companies on Chinese company, so I think we are absolutely that's to be expected as the price of doing business in one of the premises of this show at this is so often these days the media is the story are trade Wars political dispute are they all now going to evolve Media tech companies like this.

I think it's some level.

They always will whether deliberately or even accidentally delivery in the sense that I think they're writing targets for interdiction intervention and accidentally which is the winner company the company becomes global news by virtue of global social media global ecology and I think that's just the way things out.

Yeah, I'm very good.

Thank you very much.

That's fascinating Dr Tim Stevens who's from King's College London remind you what TiK ToK have just said I said in the statement.

We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users we have never provided user data to the Chinese government nor would we do so if it's move on to local news, when was the last time you brought your boot.

Sorry your local newspaper might not have been for a while with sales decimated by the pandemic and advertising drying up the industry is in Crisis

Discussed many times on this show reach the largest publisher in the UK owner of the Daily Mirror and many regions like the Manchester Evening News and Birmingham Mail is cutting 12% of its work force that 504 jobs2go Argent is that for sale they published a number of titles including the Eastern Daily Press and London's ham and high Express you've got till this Friday to put a bid in for the group and white picture of local news BBC cuts 450 jobs to go at BBC England that said department local radio and the 6:30 evening TV news another 150 jobs going at the department is making progress of Wales Northern Ireland Scotland and of course of course this is in the broader context of redundancies right across journalism, just today this afternoon the BBC put significant new detail on very big job cuts in b520 jobs will now go across BBC News and also today the Guardian has announced 12% of its staff are going to be made redundant that could affect 180 jobs and the guy.

25 million-pound down on projections to this year largely because of the pandemic I have to say this rambling Echo of redundancies has been a constant presence throughout the past 15 years is the general secretary of the National Union of journalists from media and Karen Goodwin of course the currency of a ferret what were the news Out of Reach PLC with invite them to join us, but they told us that reached inside quote at reach continues to consult with colleagues and trade unions over the proposed changes the pandemic has seen significant declines in local advertising so these changes are required and are about that operating more efficiently to protect local journalism and a new brands for the long-term Michelle you're the boss of the energy stored for each really.

Not much that you can do everything him to stop the job gets there.

We got very well organised any data flows through outreach, so we'll be doing all we can to the worst excesses of the plans that the company has started to consult on a key part of that is going to be about trying to save jobs along the way it's about trying to ensure that anyone who leaves reduced on a voluntary basis and it's all importantly for a company that size and scale and reputation making sure that people leave on equitable term so got many many journalists working across local world that Park under current plans are be leaving on statutory redundancy time switches.

You know shameful and that's for sure when you look at the detail as to what's been reported about what what's the planning to do a press Gazette reported that reach your planning to build an internal wire service which will allow them to better share journalism across all the titles that would allow them.

Is an innovation at other large publishers had for years isn't it play Hurricane by pooling? How is going to be shared services? They can control their eyes because they've all been here before so none of these things on you and it's our members who can see the inherent fault lines in some of those look great on a PowerPoint presentation for in practice unworkable reduce quality of the journalism which is what I need a members for the lot of that details yet to come out in that consultation process, but we'll be looking at that was a really keen eye to help you shortly.

Thank you for the time being let me bring in at the end car to Ian I know you had around a quarter of Ireland Media staff on Thurlow can you just give me some details please if you remind me to give some details about how the

Is hurt your business? It's been incredibly challenging and it will be sometime we lost a lot of speculation and we lost a lot of advertising very surprised roughly we saw about 20% of our circulation disappear overnight in advertising a lot of that decline in newspaper sales was in supermarkets because people shopping habits on different days, and I shot this frequently and hang around newspapers, so it's had a dramatic effect and see how the market recovers on already, which is the focus on creating digital subscriptions and more in the past 3 months on that road in the previous five years ago yesterday said Ian the switch to online shopping for some will now be permanent.

How crucial is that football you mentioned in supermarkets? How crucial is it to you?

Across Media how much are your revenue comes from people browsing in a casual way at the supermarket market sale probably makes up only 60% of the new chapter of paying for your business model absolutely fundamentals of business.

We are the people having it in print on screen the key for us if we have to convince people want to produce is worth paying for it worth paying for which is absolutely the lesson and then that's what you're working very hard.

I will come back to that and how you do that and just a second let's try and find a Positive Action points as it were the industry and what can be done to help hear the phrase you don't often hear in the media show I'm going to bring in Hugh Schofield BBC Paris correspondent because the French government.

The scheme to incentivise people to buy newspapers just gone through and it will mean that you are a very low income household.

You will be able to claim tax credit up to the level of €50 a year so not that much your first subscription to a newspaper news and newspapers basically and now it's not going to be that big a difference.

I think the most people are gesture towards a newspaper industry which is in crisis in the UK as we've been hearing.

This is nothing I mean how many people really going to take up this possibility and given an annual subscription newspapers fortnite no €300.

It's only that bigger deal and and the cut-off point in terms of income is pretty low and you have to.

Going to get it anyway.

I mean you said no cut-off point in terms of income.

What's the cut-off in terms of news how to add a publication qualifiers news here to explain because everything is categorised everything that exists somewhere and so every title will be categorised by a government department somewhere as being or not be IPG which is Alpha national political to all basically means all the newspapers, but it won't mean you tell you the thing with gossip and garden magazine that it will be stuffed which is categorised because apriori on the face fitted covers general and political New Year's Eve after reporting sometimes in this country.

Have a slightly romantic idea of how French people look at particular Industries particularly for the hospitality industry in in France is journalism held in a different regard to how it's held here.

I mean.

Experiencing a crisis of trust not leave because of Revelations over phone hacking and whatnot the Leveson Enquiry in the Mail on Sunday over the weekend.

There is a report of Dominic Cummings figure in number 10 Downing Street refer to the media as snakes and reptiles in France guilty until proven innocent in the long-term.

There's always been this same thing you getting British Person of Interest for the times at which I never taken at the same time in the past two people who wanted to come join if you had the job of a journey is what what is new is what you tell me which might proceed into the scriptures of populism and son and the Julian the yellow vs.

Mistrust of journalist and I thought they're saying you have a large population now.

I would say this rather worrying trend which consists of thinking that everything that's published is a priori wrong and therefore.

And the hospital quite openly in demonstrations and sort that is quite new and part of them probably much broader social change and the other thing that I just had the best and brightest is there a level of government subsidy for the newspapers big newspapers are subsidized by the government for example assume that the sort of Standard newspaper every every edition is being a substance the point of twenty-five cents at the point of sale and yet still with all that sales of newspapers in national interest of very very low compared to in Britain fuse always an education talk to you.

Thank you very very much and dealers who Schofield in Paris is calling for something similar to be offered in the UK to what is described in France can you just say What You Think Public subsidy is compatible with the principle of independent and impartial journalism to take money from government.

Well, I think the reality is that what we need to acknowledge is that journalism and can equality news plays an essential role in the power spectrum of public services in the UK and I think the pandemic that were currently still experiencing experiencing demonstrates just how vital and even lifesaving quality information and use can be just as another business.

It can't be an industry that left to the vagaries of the market and allowed to go to wall our plan makes it absolutely clear that were not looking for money to prop up the state of Quo and that any intervention from the government which is badly needed and speedily needed to be in on benefits with nothing to do with the editorial content of any of those outlets, but it also comes with conditionality.

It's not about allowing businesses to carry on as they have been it's actually what we want to see is that this is the moment in time.

After a crisis and where we come to realise how important Genesis to our Communities was actually we say let's reboot the second let's reconfigure it and develop her and use industry in the public use recovery plan for the senior civil servants Hindi SMS I know for a fact they listen to this program that listening now.

What would you like to his top of your gender is one of the key overarching planks is the need for action to make the Tech giant pay their way and the beauty of that is what that provide money that provide investment for the government to be able to act in that way whether that's through the mechanism that keeps in April or a new digital information Levi so you know you is that they had a free ride for a long time now is the time for them to pay their way.

There's a whole range of other kind of government listening to be a new joke or the tax credits are also saying that we won't open up about his first 18 and 19 year olds.

We want to see tax credit.

Loans that will support Frontline reporters jobs at covid-19 crisis and recovery.

We've been calling for a number of years to have the assets of community value status conferred on local newspapers, which already exist for community pubs, which means that titles of preserved for potential community owners that they can't just be closed down you know about that bass in London office in the state is a comprehensive plan that is some help from government taking myself for that.

Ian tell us something just briefly the principle of taking money from where you are right now.

Would you have any qualms about doing it support particularly interested in the concept of newspapers coming into certainly interested in playing Esher tax.

Will I struggle a bit is where you have a concept of a government funded body as I meant as it may be still having an interest in the Press

Define what constitutes public interest news who decides that important practical finance in Karen Goodwin poet of the ferret doesn't carry advertising your funded by your members.

Have you ever been ready to be untouched by the pandemic mean? We have a very different operating model.

I'm in one of the things about the fellow is that you don't describe the parrot and just become a passive reader over stories, but you have to become a member of our community.

So when you're subscribing.

You're also able to our board has both the journalist and subscriber members for example you can send for you know you only part of the ferret and so I think because of that model we we are really quite unprecedented growth at the moment so for us the last 3 months have been strongest to date so we had a slightly different story.

The UK against the grain everyone else is coming at the time you have a good time.

Can I please have some detail on this number or your mum's had £3 a month? How many members have you got? How much is it going over the last 3 months so we've got about 17 at the moment.

We are going as they rapidly and we have a lot more readers and subscribers to our underground network and so on but I think really but we are trying to look at is a way of becoming sustainable because well, we are growing.

It's still incredibly tough as everybody is telling you so are sort of them at the moment is about 50% funding party members membership is the one thing we really want to go on about 10% content sales so really in the next.

You know coming here as we've been just you know what about a funding model for that sustainability and find new ways of growing our membership base and bringing them with us to be part of that community who are helping us in our investigations.

You've had a good 3 months my back of the envelope calculation so you got 1700 members paying say that pay £3 a month and they sent a different matter that £5,100 a month over the course of a year that's just over £66,000.

Is it going to get you very far? I know you got £200,000 from luminate which is funded by the billionaire who started eBay how far are you going and how far.

Are you from having a model that's sustainable based.

Just on your income from your membership.

You actually quite some way from that so we've got we've got a 3-year business plan to take the letter so we are still very much if you like, but I think we have really scared of them punching above her weight in the last few years and we're really trying to do something quite different and I think that's what's interesting about us so we have lunch to example of online training courses which are members then kind of feed into our latest investigation which has been voted on by remembers something they wanted to see.

Best Gate around taxi from properties we using the the joint purchasing power of our members have bought the data on which will wasn't available publicly from Scotland which then after we done a series of stories.

We will make available to our members which they can then search they can look for the on-trend something more transparent and can I fit for the future or pushing for it and on the way they say forgive me I mention you take money from luminator Fun started by a video of it say he's I get directly involved in choosing where the money goes.

Can I ask you in about taking money from the Tech companies Michelle talking about different ways, you might get money out of companies.

There's something called Google News list since Facebook's what local partnerships.

Would you even take what is an effect of subsidy from tech giants and Facebook in both of those schemes?

To be based on the information to people live in California not how we want it to develop.

We've been fundamentally there's an interest for Facebook in having trusted regulated news on the platform and I should be an interesting approaches provided that we think Facebook should compensate for providing it straight was that indicates how content platforms and hold hands and talk about Walking in Memphis and it will literally turn Up The Newsroom the fantasy story because local newspapers landmark buildings in many towns that physical presence that was their connection to catch.

There's a lot of people saying that went to be changed because of the pandemic is it people be working from home? How was it? How is the pandemic going to change your working practice and your ability to get stories of people working from home and your your your main headquarters isn't what it used to be a lot of people are so used to communicating online had changed anyway working from home is something.

In the future, I think it's still working on their patch be that in their kitchen and coffee shop ok to have one we do have a plan to have an office in the future.

So yeah, we do that to see a physical presence of the really important thing again being part of a community where we can have people who come in but that's maybe something that we would look towards in Coming years at the moment.

We're kind of Desperate journalist based in Glasgow Edinburgh are we have other journalists working across Scotland so we're covering a very large geographical area and we have international stringers as well, so we're never going to have a sort of flagship headquarters, but we would like to have physical presence in some ways and communities so that we can really connect with our members.

I suppose and wider readership the future.

Thank you very much indeed.

I guess he encarta of Alice Media Karen Goodwin there of the Michelle stanistreet of the nuj National Union journalists and early we heard from the Hugo field in Paris the BBC and Tim Stevens from King's College London thank you for listening.

I'll see you all at the same time next week.


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