The Queen has issued a message of support to the British newspaper industry, praising traditional media outlets.
The monarch said that “having trusted, reliable sources of information, particularly at a time when there are so many sources competing for our attention, is vital”.
In a letter to the News Media Association, the industry organisation that represents all major national and local newspaper publishers, the Queen said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has once again demonstrated what an important public service the established news media provides, both nationally and regionally.
“The efforts of the news media to support communities throughout the United Kingdom during the pandemic have been invaluable – whether through fundraising, encouraging volunteering, or providing a lifeline for the elderly and vulnerable to the outside world.”
The statement was issued to coincide with the launch of the News Media Association’s Journalism Matters campaign, which is designed to shore up public and government support for established news outlets.
The Queen’s intervention was accompanied by an article from the organisation’s chairman, Henry Faure Walker, in which he railed against US tech companies taking advertising income that used to go to newspapers.
He said: “For too long, Google and Facebook have had a free pass at using our journalism on their platforms making huge profits, whilst contributing comparatively nothing back into the industry.”
Last week Google pledged to pay $1bn to licence content from news publishers around the world over the next three years, although this remains a fraction of the amount that the global newspaper industry has lost in advertising revenue over the last two decades.
Faure Walker, the chief executive of the financially struggling local newspaper group Newsquest, also called for further state intervention to prop up newspaper groups, on top of the