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 Dame Frances Cairncross, said: “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.”
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.
The news today that Ben Bradley MP, a Tory party vice-chair who made the claim in a Twitter message to his 4,000 plus followers – which he subsequently deleted – that Jeremy Corbyn sold British secrets to “communist spies”, has made an apology and a donation to charity. This should come as no surprise.
The claim had no substance and the apology was welcomed by Labour who said the donation would be split between a homeless centre and a food bank in Bradley’s constituency of Mansfield.