11:58AM, Monday 05 October 2020
The Queen has praised the role of local and national newspapers during the pandemic and said it is 'vital' the public has trusted reliable information.
Her Majesty shared the message today as part of Journalism Matters week - an industry wide campaign run by the News Media Association (NMA).
Queen Elizabeth said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has once again demonstrated what an important public service the established news media provides, both nationally and regionally.
"As our world has changed dramatically, having trusted, reliable sources of information, particularly at at time when there are so many sources competing for our attention, is vital.
"The efforts of the news media to support communities throughout the United Kingdom during the pandemic has been invaluable - whether through fundraising, encouraging volunteering, or providing a lifeline for the elderly and vulnerable to the outside world."
Henry Faure Walker, chairman of the NMA said the local and national news media have been a 'fundamental part of the country's response to coronavirus, but journalism itself has not been 'immune to the challenges of the pandemic'.
He added: "Advertising revenues, the lifeblood of independent journalism, have been hammered by the economic downturn leaving us with less money to invest in the journalism we all want to read. At the local level, many news brands are in a perilous position.
"We now urgently need Government to intervene with a series of targeted initiatives to help sustain local independent journalism in this country."
Journalism Matters week runs until October 11.
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