Theresa May has announced a review into the sustainability of the UK’s printed press, including the role of “clickbait” journalism in the demise of newspapers.
Speaking in Manchester on Tuesday, the prime minister said more than 200 local papers had folded since 2005 and warned this was “dangerous for our democracy”.
She warned: “When trusted and credible news sources decline, we can become vulnerable to news which is untrustworthy.”
The review will look into the migration from printed to digital advertising revenues and the rise of what the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport termed “clickbait and low quality news”.
May added: “It will look at the different business models for high-quality journalism. And because digital advertising is now one of the essential sources of revenue for newspapers, the review will analyse how that supply chain operates.
“It will consider whether the creators of content are getting their fair share of advertisement revenue. And it will recommend whether industry or Government-led solutions can help improve the sustainability of the sector for the future.“
The review will examine how the supply chain for digital advertising operates, including the impact of platforms such as Facebook and Google.
Latest figures show that around two thirds of local authority areas don’t have a daily local newspaper amid falling revenues for the traditional press.
The review will make recommendations on what industry and government action can be taken, with a final report expected in early 2019.
David Dinsmore, News Media Association chairman, said: “Viable business models must be found that ensure a wide variety of media are able to have a long and healthy future. Through digital platforms, news content is more widely consumed than ever before but the revenues to sustain the investment in that quality content are challenged.”