The Welsh Government have been urged to boost Wales’ local and independent media through an increase in public health communications spending.
Despite playing a key role in keeping the public informed about coronavirus, much of Wales’ media has taken a financial hit from a lack of sales and advertising as a result of the lockdown.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are now calling for the Welsh Government to pledge that a proportionate share of spending on public health advertising will go to local newspapers and news organisations.
They said that many local press organisations and individual journalists have raised the issue with them that support via advertising from the Welsh Government had not been forthcoming.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said that an increase in public health communications spending would result in both a short-term boost to the Government’s public health communications as well as a long-term investment in protecting and maintaining local media across Wales.
“Local press are some of the most trusted sources of news for many of our communities and are a vital part of our efforts to respond and recover from the coronavirus,” she said.
“However, many are facing significant financial challenges and this threatens the future of local community journalism. We need to ensure that more of the government’s spending on public health advertising goes to local and independent press outlets.
“This will reflect both their importance to our communities and also give them the financial support they need to ensure they don’t go under because of this crisis.
“By adopting this proposal the Welsh Government can step up the health information available as well as show that we stand proudly behind community journalism and local publications.
“I hope they will listen and give local newspapers the support they so desperately need.”