What's Happening to Our News: an investigation into the likely impact of the digital revolution on the economics of news publishing in the UK by Andrew Currah
Advertisers are deserting newspapers and television news programmes for the web, draining resources away from newsgathering. Threatening to ‘hollow out’ the craft of journalism, this process has potentially serious civic consequences. “It remains hard to imagine a civil society that functions effectively, or a citizenry that can hold its government democratically to account, without a confident, independent and viable media”, says Tim Gardam (Chair of the Reuters Institute).
News companies, gripped by a siege mentality, have turned to the internet to expand their reach and profit from digital advertising. Many are developing a strong multimedia presence and providing information in web-friendly bite-size chunks, but advertisers increasingly favour search engines over standalone news sites. The outlook is made worse by the current recession, which is accelerating the migration of advertising from traditional media to the web.
The research draws on interviews with over 70 key players at the front line of the UK news media including editors, journalists, academics, MPs and regulators.
I think the draft report is the most analytical, most thoughtful and best researched piece of work I have seen on this or related subjects. It is also superbly written. Stewart Purvis, Partner for Content and Standards, Ofcom
“There is no more urgent need in journalism than facing honestly the challenges brought on by change – and finding opportunities there – to decide as a society what kind of news we can and must have to stay informed.”
Jeff Jarvis, Associate Professor, City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism and a Guardian columnist on new media