Sir John Whittingdale supports Nub News in Parliament | Local News | News
FORMER Cabinet Secretary for Media and Nub News reader Sir John Whittingdale has called on the Government to ensure it supports local online news platforms and uses their effectiveness to inform communities.
Sir John, who represents Maldon in Essex, is regularly featured on the pages of his local Nub News site and is keen to get government to recognize the value of online media.
The growing success of Nub News – which launched its latest platform for Stoke this week – has meant the company has grown since launching with just a few websites in 2018 and now publishes to more than 50 local communities across the UK, including our own Kingston Nub News.
Sir John says he has watched the company’s success with keen interest and has spoken many times to company founder Karl Hancock and that he hopes to persuade the government to make more use of the Nub News sites and other locally based and sourced online news platforms .
In the House of Commons today, Sir John (Thursday the 8 media?
Mr Burghart, MP for Brentwood and Ongar and Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office responsible for supporting the Cabinet on the Government’s communications service, responded by saying: “The Government monitors the effectiveness of its communications campaigns and we recognize the tremendous trust it has placed in it publicized in the local media.
“And hence the important role it plays in spreading our messages.
“To give just one example, the recent press partnership on accessing NHS services used local media to inform the public on where to go for medical advice. 67 percent of readers said they trusted the articles – highlighting the importance of local print to the community.”
This prompted an immediate challenge from Sir John, who wanted assurances that online media were being treated fairly.
He said: “My friend is absolutely right about the power of local media to get important health messages across.
“But will he ensure that local online-only publishers like Nub News are included in future campaigns as well as local print media?”
Mr. Burghart replied: “I thank my honored friend for his question, I know he knows a lot about this topic. And I totally agree with him that the power of the media as a whole, all in their grip, has been particularly effective at targeting specific audiences to get important information out there.
“Of course, as he’ll appreciate, sometimes we want a more targeted approach so we can get better and cheaper, but I should also tell him we use OmniGov and if local outlets are online or otherwise want to be part of that list.” , they can do this by contacting OmniGov directly.”
OmniGov, owned by US agency giant Omnicom, has managed the government’s media services account since 2018 and retained the account for a second four-year term in December last year. The deal is one of the most valuable accounts in British advertising, with annual spends in excess of £200m.
However, not everyone is a fan of the agency, including Sir John, who told Nub News that for nearly two years he has expressed concern about its effectiveness in reaching local communities and supporting smaller publishers.
He said: “I have repeatedly urged them to take up online releases and have been deeply frustrated that they have not been willing to do so.
“This is an important issue and my questions today were just part of it. Now that I’ve raised it with Alex Burghart in the house, I’ll be following up with him to take this matter forward and seek changes to support organizations like Nub News. “
Nub News founder Karl Hancock today welcomed Sir John’s support and thanked him for raising the matter, which Mr Hancock also raised directly earlier when he joined other media industry leaders earlier this year appeared at the government’s Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
He said: “I am grateful for Sir John’s support and advice. It is refreshing to see his commitment to seeing a fairer and more level playing field in the media publishing world, where pressure from some big players is creating market equity and disproportionate opportunities.
“As I said, the current business model is broken. Something drastic has to happen. I’m not asking the government for money, I’m asking for a level playing field.
“I look forward to seeing the outcome of Sir John’s challenge and questions today.”
Meanwhile, Nub News, which aims to put local news back at the top of the news agenda in cities across the UK, continues to grow.
The latest addition – and a new flagship site for the growing Crewe media company – is Stoke Nub News.
The latest Nub News website, edited by Stoke-born journalist Sarah Garner, exemplifies the Nub News ethos and our headline agenda of putting local news and community support first, while supporting local businesses, traders and entrepreneurs support and promote.
Mr Hancock added: “The group remains committed to consolidating its existing cities and expanding them exponentially towards neighboring cities and towns, and more new cities are planned.
“In addition to providing a regularly updated, easy-to-read news platform with no clickbait, pop-ups, and intrusive polls, we harness the power of social media with easy-to-follow channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and You Tube: millions of readers visit Nub News each Month in all its formats.
“We hope this is the message that the government will adopt after today’s debate in the House of Commons.”