In March the Government commissioned the Cairncross Review to look into the sustainability of high-quality journalism, and threats to journalism, brought about by technological change and consumer behaviour. The Review headed by chairwoman Frances Cairncross, said: “This review is not about preserving the status quo. We meed 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.”
For almost as long as I can remember I have been a supporter of Plymouth Argyle FC popularly known as ‘The Pilgrims’ and as the football season has just come to an end, it’s time for reflection. Why Plymouth you may ask? Well it dates back to my childhood. My father was born in Newton Abbot in Devonshire, some 30 miles from Plymouth. His father was a carpenter working in the dockyards in the city, and despite two other Devonshire teams, Exeter and Torquay (which were a lot nearer) we always followed the fortunes of Argyle. From memory Plymouth was usually regarded as the top team in the County and rivalry between the three clubs was legendary especially between the two cities. I’m not quite in that league, being an outsider and I’ve always had a soft spot for the other two Devonshire clubs, but my first loyalty was and is to ‘The Pilgrims’.
A report published by the US Pew Research Centre http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2018/05/10185248/PJ_2018.05.14_Western-Europe_FINAL.pdf found that less that half the adults in the UK say that the news media is doing a good job at getting the facts right, the worst trustworthiness rate in Western Europe! The report was published at the same time as the House of Commons rejected the call to hold part two of the Leveson Inquiry into the conduct of the media which included a number of new provisions including an investigation into the dissemination of information and news, including false news stories.