David said: "As I step down as NMA chief executive at the end of this month, I do so with the same belief as I had when I joined the industry in 1984. News media companies sustain the journalism which counts in helping a democracy work at all levels. At its best, it works for the citizen by enriching lives, and challenging all to account.
"For it to flourish, it needs news media companies which are well resourced and independent from Government and which have vision. The editorial and commercial freedoms which are required to underpin journalism are never guaranteed. They need to be fought for on a daily basis, and it has been my goal to ensure that the NMA is central to that fight.
"Over the last decades, the battles and skirmishes have ranged from challenging secret justice and official secrecy, to preserving and extending VAT zero rating for news, to liberalising outmoded media ownership rules, to expanding publishers’ intellectual property rights, to carving out safeguards for editorial freedoms in online safety legislation, data protection, financial services and human rights legislation, and to seeking to ensure that independent news media companies are not smothered by the state-funded BBC.
The editorial and commercial freedoms which are required to underpin journalism are never guaranteed.
"On two occasions during my time at the NMA, the industry faced statutory controls which would have emasculated editorial freedoms and the freedom to publish news and opinion. The NMA helped the industry to stand firm, and to win the public debate over press regulation and its structure.
"The importance of independent journalism has been driven home to the world during the pandemic. The NMA must champion policies which strengthen that journalism, with the need for a regulatory rebalancing of the relationship between news publishers and the tech platforms being paramount.
"I believe that the dedicated NMA team with Owen Meredith as CEO, and with the active support of the NMA Board, chaired by Henry Faure Walker, will help secure a future environment in which news media companies can evolve and fulfil their commitment to innovative journalism responding to the needs of their readers."
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