Culture secretary

Culture Secretary vows to champion journalism

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan, MP, pledged to be a ‘champion of journalism’ and reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring ‘the industry thrives in the digital age’.

Writing as part of an op-ed to mark Journalism Week, Donelan said she acknowledged big tech had “contributed to the closure of too many newsrooms” by gobbling up much of the advertising market and that the government remained committed to tackling the problem. dominance of social media platforms through upcoming legislation.

She said: “While the internet has transformed all of our lives for the better, I know it has also completely uprooted the business models of local publishers. It is true that online readership of local media is growing by 18% per But it’s clear that big tech has swallowed up much of the advertising market and contributed to the closure of too many newsrooms.

“Journalism is just as important in 2022 as it was before the rise of the internet. So this government is committed to doing a number of things to protect it.

“We will repeal Article 40, which would threaten media freedom and risk the financial ruin of publishers. We’ve revamped our world-leading online safety bill to protect free speech and ensure Silicon Valley monoliths can’t censor quality journalism on a whim.

“And we are stepping in to stop the biggest tech players from using their market dominance to abuse other businesses and consumers. Our new regulator, the Digital Markets Unit, will level the playing field between news publishers and big tech, especially when it comes to getting paid fairly for the news stories they create . After all, good journalism doesn’t come free.

The Secretary of State also reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring the safety of journalists through its national action plan.

She added: “Being a journalist is always so risky. Indeed, thanks to the reach of social networks, cases of intimidation, threats – and in rare cases – violence are increasing.

“While the UK certainly does not face the same challenges as other countries, one incident of abuse is one too many. No one should have to put up with that bile just to do their job.

“I will therefore continue our national action plan to ensure that journalists in the UK can operate without fear for their safety. Together with industry partners, the police and other actors, we are committed to reducing the number of attacks and threats against journalists and ensuring that those responsible are brought to justice.

The editorial can be read in full here.