Call for aid: Brian Leddin outside Leinster House | PICTURE: MICHAEL COWHEY
LIMERICK Green Party TD Brian Leddin has urged Communications Minister Richard Bruton to find ways to support local newspapers through the coronavirus crisis.
Many titles are struggling with falling advertising revenue, due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Mr Leddin said: “Many local newspapers around the country are in danger of closure due to the dramatic decline in advertising revenue since the crisis. We have already seen the worrying reports of fake news being spread online and through messaging platforms like WhatsApp.”
Unlike these platforms, Mr Leddin said local newspapers are trusted in this country.
“There is a public health need for there to be trusted local news outlets to ensure that people receive information that is accurate, fair and accountable,” he said, “However we must make sure that any support given improves security for journalists.”
“We are living in unprecedented times. There will be a public health impact, especially in rural areas, if local newspapers are allowed to close. In the immediate term I would encourage everyone to buy a copy of their local paper, either with their essential shop or online, to support a trusted source of local news”, he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Sinn Féin spokesperson on communications, climate action and the environment David Cullinane also added his voice to calls on government to step up supports for local print and broadcasting media.
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