Tim Davie’s speech set out the BBC’s plans for the future following the recent licence fee funding settlement.
In response, NMA chief executive Owen Meredith said: “It is disappointing that the BBC has not taken the opportunity presented to it by the licence fee funding settlement to step back from its misguided plans to boost its own local news services, in direct competition with commercial providers. If they go ahead, these proposals would have a profoundly negative impact upon independent local news providers, resulting in a weakening of local news provision in this country.
“The government has confirmed today that it will look specifically at the issue of the BBC’s impact on local news media as part of the mid-term review, and the NMA and our members will engage fully in this process.
“We welcome the BBC’s renewed commitment to funding the successful Local News Partnership for the duration of the current charter, and urge the BBC to look again at ways to partner with the local news sector through models like this, rather than compete with it.
“If the BBC refuses to change course, it will be important that the negative impacts of the Across the UK plans on independent local news providers are fully understood and considered through the appropriate market impact assessment processes and the mid-term review.”
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