Helen Goodman MP, Labour's Shadow media minister, said in response to today's decision to go ahead with the framework to set up local television local TV channels in the UK:
“We do not believe that the Government has gone the right way about setting up local television stations.
“First, we are not convinced that there will be enough advertising for local television as it stands. Regional newspapers have already suffered a tremendous drop in their advertising revenues, so we do not know why the Government think that advertising will miraculously emerge when local TV comes on to air. This seems to be wishful thinking.
“Secondly we are worried about control and the dominance in a locality or indeed in many localities of a single national or international news organisation. This was described as community television, like community radio, but the minister today failed to convince that this was what would actually happen. In fact he seemed very relaxed about the notion that local TV would be run by one big news organisation, which might, because of the relaxation of local cross media plurality laws, own all the news outlets in one area across radio, TV and newspapers.
“Thirdly the Minister did not reassure the House about the quality of content on these stations. There is likely to be around one to two hours of local news a day, but what else is going to be broadcast in between? Apart from explicitly banning pornography, the minister did not seem to know."