Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian\’s editor in chief, tonight threw his support behind a plan to give public funding to Britain\’s national press agency to allow it to provide news from public authorities and courts as local newspapers withdraw because they can no longer afford it.
Rusbridger, speaking at a seminar on the future of journalism at the Media Standards Trust in London, also outlined his vision for a new digital world in which the public grows much closer to journalists.
Speaking in front of guests including film director Lord Puttnam, BBC business editor Robert Peston and Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards, Rusbridger said local news needed to be supported, or \”corruption and inefficiency\” would grow as scrutiny lessened.
He said the Press Association, in which most of the big British media firms including the Guardian Media Group are shareholders, should be the recipient of public money to provide local news as other providers such as newspapers and ITV regional news disappear.
Well, there we have it. We should pay taxes so as to support a business which The Guardian has shares in.
Thing is though, Guardian Media Group has a few hundred million floating around the balance sheet. Why aren\’t they spending that on this public good? They are, after all, continually telling us that business must do more for the community than simply look to the bottom line, are they not?