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Johnston Press bosses look to new culture secretary for support

Editor Jeremy Clifford Editor Jeremy Clifford

Senior editorial figures at local newspaper publisher Johnston Press have backed the appointment of the new culture secretary and supported his likely curbs on the BBC.

Tory right-winger John Whittingdale’s appointment prompted national press headlines about the BBC and the culture department being ‘at war’ earlier this week – but the editor of the Yorkshire Post and the chief executive at Johnston Press see things rather differently.

Taking to Twitter, The Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post editor Jeremy Clifford said:

While chief executive Ashley Highfield said:

It’s not the first time Highfield has criticised the BBC’s position in the local news landscape. Last year he told the Newspaper Society AGM: “The BBC purports to support regional press, yet seems to be wishing for its demise by questioning – at what seems like every opportunity – whether local newspapers are already dead.

“I suggest now is the 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.”

Clifford has also previously supported the Conservative party’s policies – during the election campaign his paper was unusual among the regional press for coming out in support of the coalition government.

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