Government alarm at UK press woes sparks independent review

Government alarm at UK press woes sparks independent review

An independent review into the parlous state of British journalism has been instigated by the department for culture, media and sport, amidst mounting alarm at the pace of decline in the sector.

A panel chaired by Dame Frances Cairncross has issued a call for evidence to inform the inquiry after a report commissioned for the review highlighted a welter of dire facts and stats which throw into sharp relief just how far circulation and advertising revenues declined over the past decade, falling by over half from £7bn to just £3bn.

This has precipitated a quarter of all full-time print journalists leaving the industry since 2007, when 23,000 were employed across the country – down to a mere 17,000 today.

In that time a quarter of all regional and local newspapers have been lost, with 300 standard bearers having closed over the review period.

Cairncross commented: “This review is not about preserving the status quo. We need to explore ways in which we can ensure that consumers in 10 years’ time have access to high-quality journalism which meets their needs, is delivered in the way they want, and supports democratic engagement.

“This call for evidence enables all those with an interest to contribute their knowledge and views so we can build the evidence and make impactful recommendations to move forward.”

All evidence must be submitted by close of play on Friday 7 September with the full report following by early 2019.

In recent years Johnston Press have shuttered The Independent and Trinity Mirror axed their ill-fated New Day title after sales bombed.

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