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BBC and local papers close to “collaborative partnership”

There could soon be a deal between local press and the BBC, to share content.

Ashley Highfield, the CEO of Johnston Press and former BBC board director, said today that a deal hadn’t been done, but they were “edging ever closer to creating a genuinely collaborative partnership.”

In a speech to the Westminster Forum, he said there were a number of discussion points. These included how local journalists could be employed to provide content for both the BBC and local press.

They are also looking at a video bank, which would make BBC regional material available to media partners for free; a shared data journalism department; and better linking to local media on the BBC website – plus acknowledgement of the source of the story, through links.

Highfield has long campaigned for the BBC to work with the regional press. In 2004, he said it was “time for Auntie to put on some different spectacles and start looking at local press differently: as a genuine partner to take the BBC to a wider audience.”

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