Burnham says BBC is sensitive to other media

LONDON - BBC director-general Mark Thompson is becoming "increasingly sensitive" about the broadcaster's impact on other media, according to culture secretary Andy Burnham.

Burnham: BBC is sensitive to other media
Burnham: BBC is sensitive to other media

At a Newspaper Conference quarterly lunch with local newspaper journalists, Burnham said: "Mark Thompson is very conscious of the question of what is the right relationship between the BBC and the rest of the media landscape."

Burnham said it was his job to discuss with the BBC Trust the changing media landscape, but it was not his job to decide whether the BBC Trust was right or wrong.

Discussions about the BBC's role are "very live just now", according to Burnham. He said the BBC Trust is increasingly sensitive about the impact the BBC has on the rest of the media world, but he did not want to prejudge the Trust's investigation into proposals to roll out video across 65 local websites.

Burnham said one of the things that defines his role is helping people make sense of a period of transition by carrying forward the things that they've come to trust and depend upon.

The culture secretary said local newspapers bring a sense of local pride and he saw them as "pillars of the community" in the same way as football clubs. He also said regional media enhanced democracy.

The Newspaper Conference is chaired by Mark Hookham, political editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post, and administered by the Newspaper Society.

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