Steven Barnett submits evidence to Lords Communications and Digital Committee inquiry into The Future of Journalism
Evidence submitted by Prof. Steven Barnett to the Lords select committee inquiry on the Future of Journalism has now been published. In his submission, which can be read in full on the parliament website, Barnett argues that trust in UK journalism is not homogenous and must be disaggregated. He notes that trust is much higher in the broadcast and broadsheet media than in the midmarket and redtop press, and reflects the poor regulatory framework that applies to the press. Barnett goes on to recommend four public policy interventions to sustain high quality public interest journalism, which, he says, the current crisis has demonstrated is more essential than ever. These four recommendation are: more flexibility for granting charitable status to journalism enterprises; establishment of an Institute for Public Interest News, as recommended by the Cairncross Review; establishment of a community journalism fund to help smaller local initiatives; and the need for radical change to the BBC funded Local Democracy Reporter Service which is opaque and unaccountable.