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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 15:57 GMT
BBC considers local papers link
BBC director general Mark Thompson
The BBC is considering boosting its local digital services
The BBC could begin paying local and regional newspapers for stories, says director general Mark Thompson.

The corporation wanted to "draw on the newsgathering clout" of the papers, and would "pay for it", he told the Society of Editors conference in Glasgow.

It would give papers "a revenue stream but also visibility and credit on the BBC's new local service", he said.

Society executive director Bob Satchwell welcomed the proposal for a "partnership of equals".

Mr Thompson told the conference: "We're still working out how much money we're talking about but my expectation is, where we can, we'll want to have some level of contractual partnership with local and regional newspapers in the area."

Mr Satchwell said he had always felt there was the opportunity for a working relationship.

"But it has to be a partnership of equals and one which recognises the value that both would bring to the party," he said.

"I'm extremely pleased that Mark Thompson spelt out in clear terms that they want to develop partnerships of that kind."

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