PBJRC trustee Dr Martin Moore has drawn together some of the threads in the wider journalism and regulatory landscape in his new piece for The Conversation.
Martin notes the financial, industrial and technological firestorms that have engulfed the news and media sector over the past decade or more:
All this paints rather a bleak picture for the future of public interest news in the UK. Yet, in the past year, we have seen the possibility of real change. A good deal of credit for this can be put down to inquiries led by two people, Dame Frances Cairncross and Jason Furman (the former chief economist to US president Barack Obama).
He also notes the report of the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee, and its endorsement of charitable status for journalism, with its implications for public interest journalism in the UK:
This should mean that news publishers – should they meet the criteria – can now benefit from tax relief, foundation grants and charitable donations. Small, non-profit local news outfits may finally be able to sustain themselves while performing a critical public service.
Martin concludes on a positive note that we can all cautiously endorse:
these are all green shoots that could support the gradual recovery of public interest news – and, as a torrid and difficult year comes to an end, and in the spirit of festive cheer, we should celebrate some good news for news.