Conservative leader David Cameron has promised to relax cross-media ownership rules if his partyÂ wins the General Election.Â Some in the industry promote this as a partial solution toÂ theÂ crisis in local journalism.Â A less generousÂ view is that the Conservative Party is courting popularity withÂ local media owners (Political party woos money and votes shocker, man detained!).
I thinkÂ this isÂ a necessary but insufficient response to an escalatingÂ problem. Permitting a reductionÂ in local mediaÂ diversityÂ mayÂ help some local news companies survive in the short term, but it won't teach them how to prosperÂ in the convergent era, still less how to serve the public sphere.Â That will take innovation, investmentÂ and a long-term commitment to theÂ high quality local journalism upon which British democracy has long been able to rely.Â Â Purist, moi? Jamais.Â