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The government should be better supporting the British press

3 5 0

Hardly a week goes by in Britain without the closure of a newspaper. Substantial areas of the population now have no form of local paper at all.

The industry is suffering inexorable decline. London, the capital city, hub of the nation’s economy, and political and cultural life, is not immune. The Evening Standard was on the cusp of closure under its former owners, and rescued by Evgeny Lebedev. Then, when sales continued to be eroded by the internet, London’s only evening newspaper abandoned its traditional paid-for model and went free. Life for the paper, though, remained a struggle.

So, it was good news when the same Saudi who had pumped money into Lebedev’s other title, The Independent, in return for a 30 per cent stake, agreed to invest in the Evening Standard. Sultan Mohamed Abuljadayel bought 30 per cent of the London newspaper for £25m, effectively giving it a future.

From 15p €0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.

Now the culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, is considering referring the Saudi shareholding to the Competition and Markets Authority, to determine whether it skews the titles’ editorial coverage. The Independent is now no longer in print, but online. Having weathered successive blows, the Evening Standard faces uncertainty again.

But this time from an unlikely source. It’s not the global........

© Independent