News & Opinion

NMA Chair issues open letter to retailers about the importance of news publications

“The need for independent, verifiable news and information is more important than ever” said Walker.

NMA Chair Henry Faure Walker wrote to retailers outlining the actions it is taking to ensure that retailers and their customers continue to have access to their newspapers throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

You can read the full letter below: 

Dear Retailer,

I am writing on behalf of the News Media Association (NMA), the trade body representing news media organisations that publish around 1000 national, regional and local newspaper titles throughout the UK.

The need for independent, verifiable news and information is more important than ever during the coronavirus crisis, with the public turning to the news publications they trust in unprecedented numbers. The news media fulfils a critical service at this time, particularly for the elderly and vulnerable where information and support is so vital. 

NMA members are, apart from the continual monitoring of the supply chain and its partners, undertaking several schemes designed to help retailers and readers. Publishers are also looking at ways to ensure that newspapers continue to reach retailers on time and will if necessary, make changes to their own operations to help printers, wholesalers and retailers continue offering their own valuable and essential services.

The NMA, on behalf of its publisher members, is also in constant contact with the government to find ways to ensure that they can continue to provide this invaluable service at these challenging times. In particular, we are asking the Government for newspapers to be treated as an ‘essential service’ in the event of further movement restrictions, including keeping journalists, publishers, retailers and wholesale operating and able to deliver papers. 

We are also asking that newspapers be designated an essential/core product by retailers and that supply levels are maintained to ensure that newspapers and the critical information they hold, is available to your customers.

We have also written to the Government asking them to step in to ensure the wholesale distribution network stays in place, if necessary, though publishers and wholesalers are doing their utmost to get newspapers delivered to you without disruption. 

We will do our best to keep you informed of any changes that will affect you and welcome your feedback on ways that we can work together to ensure your customers continue to get the news they want.

Kind regards,

Henry Faure Walker
Chairman
News Media Association

Source: NFRN

by Hannah Ohm Thomas 25/03/20

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