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Rennie calls on Scottish Government to save local journalism

April 3, 2020 1:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called on the Scottish Government to support local papers by launching a significant new coronavirus public information campaign and extending the 100% business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses to local media, as he praised their work keeping the public well informed and raising spirits.

Mr Rennie said:

"Local papers, such as the Fife Free Press in my constituency, are among the most trusted sources of news for so many people across Scotland. There is a massive opportunity for the Scottish Government to reach hundreds of thousands of people and provide them vital information about how to protect their health and the services they rely on.

"Not only that but by highlighting creativity and kindness in our communities, these local papers can help to keep spirits up at this difficult time.

"Local papers were already stretched but this public health emergency has seen staff furloughed and advertising revenue plummeting. The Scottish Government needs to show that it values a vibrant local media. One simple thing that it could do is extend the 100% business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses to local media."