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Culture Secretary Calls On Public To Buy A Newspaper For World Press Freedom Day

3 May 2024

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has called on the public to buy local and national newspapers in support of the industry’s “brilliant reporters shining a light on the good and the bad.”

In an op ed for World Press Freedom Day, the Culture Secretary said: “We are fortunate in the UK. Our free press is admired around the world and as Culture Secretary I am enormously proud of the vibrant media landscape we have in this country.

“Outstanding public service broadcasters that guide the nation through major moments, from Covid-19 to the Coronation. Centuries old national and local newspapers and magazines that bring readers exceptional analysis, brilliant investigations, and a plurality of opinions on the issues of the day. Dynamic websites and blogs that offer audiences fresh perspectives and unique insight.”

“Today is World Press Freedom Day and it’s an unmissable opportunity to recognise all those journalists and broadcasters who spend their days exposing wrongdoing and injustice, scrutinising people and power, and championing truth. It is a day to go and buy a local or a national newspaper and be grateful for the brilliant reporters shining a light on the good and the bad. But, while there is much to celebrate, we must use this moment to recognise that press freedom should never be taken for granted.”

In a video recorded for World Press Freedom Day, News Media Association chief executive Owen Meredith called for support for UK’s local news media.

He said: “On World Press Freedom Day today, I would like to remind us all of the importance of press freedom and what we must do to protect it. The World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders highlights global threats to journalists and media workers. Since 1 January this year, we have seen two killed and over 500 imprisoned.

“Journalists and media brands play a critical role in informing the public and holding those in power to account, and we must support and defend their vital work. To do so, we must tackle the use of SLAPP cases to stop censoring journalists. The SLAPP Bill, also before Parliament, requires simple but crucial amendments to protect all those who speak out in the public interest.

“Press freedom is underpinned by a strong and vibrant local news media. As we look to a general election, bolstering local media is essential to the public interest and local democracy. Their journalists up and down the country continue to report on matters important to their communities, reporting on local authorities, and shining a light on issues that may otherwise go unscrutinised.”