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On-the-ground journalists must have their say in the government's press inquiry, says the NUJ

© Mark Thomas

12 March 2018

The government has appointed Dame Frances Cairncross as chair of its review of press sustainability in the UK and published its terms of reference, but the National Union of Journalists says Culture Minister Matt Hancock must ensure the journalist's voice is heard loud and clear during the inquiry.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"When the government announced its external review to examine the sustainability of the UK's press, the NUJ welcomed it. Today the Culture Secretary announced the review is to be headed by Dame Frances Cairncross and has named the panel. None of those named represent journalists on the ground who can explain exactly the effect of the present troubles in the industry are having on their ability to produce quality journalism and connect with their communities. We hope Matt Hancock can ensure that the journalist's voice is heard during the process."

The NUJ has long called for an inquiry into the crisis in the newspapers as part of its Local News Matters campaign.

Dame Frances Cairncross is a former economic journalist, author and academic administrator. She is chair of the court of Heriot-Watt University and a trustee at the Natural History Museum. She said:

"Having spent much of my working life as a journalist, and seen how the digital revolution has changed both the fortunes of newspapers and the opportunities for distributing news, I am excited to be undertaking this review. This is both a challenging and an exciting time for the press, both locally and nationally, and I hope the review will clarify both ways to ensure the future of high quality journalism and the options for public policy."

The terms of reference and review panel can be found on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport website.

Tags: , press review, local newspapers, local news matters, national newspapers, Frances Cairncross, media plurality, matt hancock, dcms, sustainability