News probe should include supply chain


THE National Federation of Retail Newsagents has welcomed an investigation into the future of the newspaper marketplace announced last month by Prime Minister Theresa May, but said such action is long overdue.

Linda Sood, national president of the NFRN,  said: “National and local newspapers are the bread and butter for many  independent newsagents but we have long expressed concerns about declining sales, the demise of quality journalism and, ultimately, the quality of the publications.”

NFRN head of news Brian Murphy said he believed the probe should be extended to encompass the whole of the news supply chain.

“It’s not just a question of looking into the quality of journalism or the effect of their online rivals.  This investigation should be widened to include cover pricing, declining retailer margins and the increasing costs associated with receiving supplies, as well as the physical distribution,” he said.

“If it is to be successful it must ensure that the current grievances of all parties are represented and addressed. 

“Only that way can the future of both national and regional newspapers be assured on newsstands throughout the UK and consumers can enjoy real choice regarding what they read, where they buy it from and the price they pay.”