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The Guardian needs to start disclosing its own commercial interests

Another day, another story from The Guardian attacking the BBC’s plans for local news – this time, in the guise of "reporting complaints from local radio stations" about the plans. There’s no comment from the BBC, which is surprising.

What’s also missing is any kind of acknowledgement that Guardian Media Group includes GMG Radio, which has 13 stations around the country. Neither, in its reporting on the BBC local video proposals, has The Guardian disclosed GMG’s ownership of GMG Regional Media, which has numerous local newspapers as well as "city TV station" Channel M – all of which could potentially be in competition with the BBC’s new local news.

The Guardian needs to start full disclosure where GMG has competing interests – particularly when it repeatedly prints comment pieces knocking those competitor’s plans. Anything else is leaving it open to the same kinds of criticisms that have rightly been levelled at other media organisations over the years, where commercial competitors of the group have often appeared to get a hard time in the newspapers.

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