House of Lords to examine the future of journalism

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The House of Lords is to examine the impact of digital on journalism; trust; and whether the media is representative of the entire country.

The House of Lords Committee on Communications and Digital is currently seeking written evidence ahead of the inquiry.

Some of the questions it’s posing 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?

“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,” said Chairman of the Committee, Lord Gilbert of Panteg.

“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.”

Earlier this month, lobby journalists walked out of a Government briefing, after Downing Street attempted to brief only a select group of journalists, barring certain titles, including PA, the Mirror, i and Huffpost UK.