Conservative support for local news media

A bid by the Scottish Conservatives to provide critical support to Scotland’s local news providers has been successfully passed, providing increased assistance for one of the country’s most under-pressure industries.

Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament introduced an amendment to support local news media who are struggling during the current COVID19 crisis. The local press is estimated to have lost 75 per cent of advertising revenue and 25 per cent of circulation cash due to the pandemic.

The amendment, passed at Stage Three of the Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill, added the provision for news publishing to the Coronavirus reliefs for non-domestic rates.

Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron, supporting the amendment said:

“The news media in my region is providing an invaluable and irreplaceable service for our communities.

“The pandemic is serving to illustrate how important that service is, as we need trusted local news sources as never before.

“We simply must not lose our local newspapers which is why action to tide them over this crisis is so important, and why they should be given the same levels of support as other key sectors which are suffering."