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MLAs form new media issues group


Matthew O’Toole

Matthew O’Toole

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Matthew O’Toole

SDLP MLA Matthew O'Toole is launching a new all-party group on press freedom and media sustainability at the Assembly.

The APG will work closely with the National Union of Journalists and representatives from the local news organisation.

The group will tackle concerns about recent increases in threats and harassment targeted at journalists here, as well as the severe economic impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the long-term viability of media outlets.

It will meet for the first time tomorrow.

Mr O'Toole said: "Threats of violence should never be accepted 'as part of the job'. An action plan is needed to protect a free press, one of the most fundamental elements of a free society."

He added: "A free press also means a viable, sustainable local media supporting communities, local economies and local democracy."

Belfast Telegraph