Report highlights loss of local newspapers over last decade

Dame Frances Cairncross.jpeg

Six thousand print journalists and more than 3,000 local newspapers have been axed during the last ten years, according to a new report published ahead of a Government review into the “sustainability” of the UK’s printed press industry.

The report has also revealed print advertising revenues have dropped by more than half over the last 10 years, from nearly £7 billion to just over £3bn.

 

The research by Mediateque was commissioned ahead of the review, which is to be chaired by former economic journalist Dame Frances Cairncross (pictured). It revealed the number of frontline print journalists dropped by more than a quarter, from around 23,000 in 2007 to 17,000 in 2017.

The report also found that the newspaper industry still contributes half of total editorial journalism in the UK – more than online and broadcast news combined – while there are 1,043 local and regional titles still being published.

Dame Frances has now issued a call for evidence ahead of the review with a deadline of 7 September for submissions. She said: “This review is not about preserving the status quo. We need to explore ways in which we can ensure that consumers in ten years time have access to high-quality journalism which meets their needs, is delivered in the way they want, and supports democratic engagement.

“This call for evidence enables all those with an interest to contribute their knowledge and views so we can build the evidence and make impactful recommendations to move forward,” she added.

The panel in charge of the review is made up of experts from the fields of journalism, academia, advertising and technology and will seek a greater understanding of the state of the news media market, particularly the printed press, including threats to financial sustainability.