Scottish Newspaper Society highlights impact of press regulation on regional papers "praised" by Leveson
The Scottish Newspaper Society has responded to government proposals on a royal charter for press regulation with concerns over its effect on regional and local publications.
Fears: The letter pointed towards repercussions for local publications
In a letter to first minister Alex Salmond, the group acknowledged the move away from the McCluskey report by the Scottish government in favour of the Westminster royal charter plans, but highlighted the plight of local press, saying: "One main issue with that is proposed is the impact on regional and local newspapers, who were praised and exonerated in the Leveson report but now face a more expensive and extensive regulatory system at a time of economic recession and migration of revenues to the internet.
The society restated its position in favour of UK-wide, non-statutory regulation and urged Alex Salmond "to be cogniscent of these points in any discussions with the Westminster coalition.
Earlier, Scotland's Professional Publishers Assocation (PPA) launched a petition to oppose statutory press regulation and said it was concerned about the uncertainty of the situation after the Scottish government changed direction, pulling away from the findings of its expert panel and moving towards a Westminster solution.
While the royal charter proposal has been seen as a compromise between the main political parties, the newspaper industry has reacted with hesitation and resistance. The Spectator and Private Eye have already announced they will not sign up to the charter and other major titles are seeking legal advice. However, YouGov statistics showed a majority of 81 per cent of respondents gave backing to the new regulator proposal.