13 February 2020
The Communications and Digital Committee launches its new inquiry on the future of journalism.
The Committee is seeking evidence on how digital technologies are changing the production and consumption of journalism, how journalists can be supported to adapt to those changes, and how the profession can become more trusted by the general public.
Commenting Lord Gilbert of Panteg, Chairman of the Committee, said:
“In our democracy journalism is at the core, but in recent years we have seen a shift from the traditional consumption of news and away from established business models.
“Within moments, we now have access to news on multiple platforms and no longer need to wait for the morning paper or the evening news for updates. Social media has allowed new organisations to disrupt the news market and also gives individuals a greater freedom to publish news and analysis themselves, challenging established providers.
“For the 70,000 people across the UK who are employed as journalists, the shift from traditional print media to digital has given rise to a need for more training and an increased range of skills.
“Public trust in journalists has fallen and is particularly low outside of London and other metropolitan hubs. This may be connected to the profession not being representative of the population it is serving. Only 11 per cent of journalists are from working class backgrounds and only six per cent are not white.
“These issues are why the Communications and Digital Committee are seeking written evidence by 25 March and encourage anyone working in journalism, or anyone with an interest in this area to get in touch.”
Questions the Committee is inviting evidence on include:
- How have digital technologies changed the consumption of journalism?
- How can innovation and collaboration help news organisations to maintain sustainable business models?
- Do journalists have access to the training opportunities necessary to adapt to the digital world? How could public policy better support the training of journalists?
- Why has trust in journalists declined? How could it be improved?
- Why is the journalism profession not more representative of the population?
- How can journalists better understand and convey the concerns and priorities of people who do not live in London or other metropolitan hubs?
The deadline for submissions of written evidence is 23:59 hours on Wednesday 25 March 2020. The Committee expects to hear oral evidence from invited witnesses from February. The Government has undertaken to respond in writing to reports from select committees.