I suppose today’s decision by the BBC Trust to block plans for an expansion of BBC local online video operations is the nearest we will get to an answer.
This was a paradoxical decision but probably the right one for now. Local newspapers have denuded their newsrooms but they claim that it is the BBC that threatens their business as they attempt to build local online traffic.
So although the BBC could possibly do a better job in the short term, they should not be allowed to because it will kill off our local press.
I agree with Roy Greenslade that the BBC could return to this battleground in a few years, but for now it is up to the paper groups to prove that they are serious about developing online local news. For the sake of diversity I hope they do.