NUJ welcomes government action on sustainable journalism
© Mark Thomas
6 February 2018
The union has today welcomed the government's announcement of a news and media review.
The NUJ has been pressing the government on this issue and called for a government-led inquiry during the union’s Local News Matters week of action in April 2017.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"Quality journalism is at the heart of a healthy democracy - as Theresa May has rightly acknowledged today. It helps to keep people informed, combats fake news, holds those in power to account and promotes community engagement.
"The media industry is in crisis today, more than 300 local newspapers have been closed in the past decade and more than half of all parliamentary constituencies do not have a dedicated daily local newspaper. We have consistently highlighted the severity of this situation – our local communities deserve better. Hollowed-out shells of titles are no substitute for properly-resourced titles, with real investment in the provision of news and information that communities are crying out for.
"We therefore welcome the announcement of a review by the government, and the NUJ will fully engage in the process including the call for a panel of experts."
The government has announced that the review will look at:
- the overall health of the news media with a focus on the local and regional press
- the range of news available and the different business models for high-quality journalism
- how the press is adapting to the digital market and the role of online platforms
- the digital advertising supply chain
- ‘clickbait’ and low quality news
DCMS secretary of state Matt Hancock said:
"Robust high quality journalism is important for public debate and scrutiny - but as print circulations decline and more readers move online, the press faces an uncertain future. This review will look at the sustainability of the national, regional and local press, how content creators are appropriately rewarded for their online creations, and ensure that the UK has a vibrant and independent and plural free press as one of the cornerstones of our public debate."
The review will make recommendations for industry and government with a final report expected in early 2019.