The Newspaper Society has said that publishers representing more than 90 per cent of the regional newspaper industry have now backed the rival press regulation Royal Charter submitted to the Privy Council by press owners' body Pressbof.
NS president Adrian Jeakings said:
Any system of voluntary self-regulation by definition requires the support of the industry coming together to be regulated. We in the regional and local press believe this is vital if we are to maintain a free press in this country with the ability to hold authority to account – the message of Local Newspaper Week coming up next week. Local newspaper publishers have been fully involved in drawing up the Independent Royal Charter proposal and fully support it.
The NS board member comapanies have now confirmed their support for the charter and between them they are said to represent more than 90 per cent of the industry. They are: Archant, Baylis Media, CN Group, Johnston Press, KM Group, Local World, Newsquest Media Group and Trinity Mirror.
According to the NS, other local newspaper companies supporting the industry-backed Royal Charter include: Barnsley Chronicle, Midland News Association, Newbury Weekly News and Tindle Newspapers.
A decision has been put back from 15 May to the end of June to allow consideration of the industry Charter, submitted in opposition to the one agreed by the three main political parties and Hacked Off.