Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Public sector advertising cuts cast shadow over Northern Ireland press

Planned Stormont Executive cuts in public advertising spending could have a devastating impact on the Press over the next 18 months, with the closure of 12 newspapers and 580 job losses being predicted.

Proposals within the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister could see the majority of the 5,000 government advertisements, which provide a substantial proportion of newspapers’ income here each year, run instead on television or the internet.

Major media outlets likely to survive – or benefit from – the new regime include UTV, the Belfast Telegraph and its NIJobfinder website and some weekly newspapers which a government-commissioned survey says are still reaching a significant proportion of the public.

But The Irish News and The News Letter are deemed as registering “low scores” in the research for Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers, with the changes already evident in government procurement where a single government ad in papers already directs viewers towards the civil service website.

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