This is part of an attempt, as stated in the manifesto, to protect the “reliability and objectivity of information” presented as “news”. Research published by Ofcom in July 2018 found that two-thirds of people now use the internet for news. If “reliable” content creators do not receive payment or recognition for their work, one concern is that “unreliable” sources may set the news agenda and exert undue influence on public opinion.
So this policy pledge is to “ensure content creators are appropriately rewarded”. The government hopes, as the previous Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has said, that this will go some way to preserving the high quality journalism which is “important for public scrutiny and underpins democratic debate”.
In February 2018, the government announced a review into the sustainability of the press. In March 2018, Dame Frances Cairncross was appointed to chair the review. The review’s terms of reference say one of its key considerations will be “options for increasing the ability of publishers to monetise high quality news content”, in other words ensuring “content creators are appropriately rewarded”.
The Cairncross review’s consultation, the call for evidence, ran from 28 June to 14 September 2018. At the time of writing, responses are being analysed.
With the review, the government has begun a process which could lead to legislative or regulatory measures to “ensure online content creators are appropriately rewarded”. If that happens, we’ll move the status to ‘done’, but for now it’s a process ‘in progress’. Follow this policy for updates!
Go beyond the headlines
- Navigating news in an online world – Ofcom
- Fake news ‘crowding out’ real news, MPs say – BBC News
- New review launched of press sustainability in the UK – Gov.uk
- Chair appointed to lead review of press sustainability in the UK – Gov.uk
- Terms of Reference, Cairncross Review – Gov.uk
- Call for evidence on sustainable high-quality journalism in the UK – Gov.uk