HomeInsightsIndependent Press Standards Organisation submits response to Cairncross review on sustainable high-quality journalism in the UK

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The Cairncross review is attempting to address some very complex issues relating to the press, including challenges to financial sustainability, the role and impact of digital search engines and social media platforms, how content and data flows are operated and managed, and the role of digital advertising.

In IPSO’s view, there should be no direct subsidies from the Government to support the press, as this would threaten the press’ independence. However, one possible solution might be that the Government looks to the online advertising market in an effort to address inequalities at the heart of profiting from digital advertising revenue.

In terms of fake news, IPSO believes that consumers’ ability to be able to identify quality, curated and trusted content is critical. Action needs to be taken to limit harmful, fake news, which can erode trust in the press. In IPSO’s view, “independent regulation has a key role to play in this”. Publishers need to be held accountable to an external set of standards, such as the Editors’ Code, and helping consumers to easily identify edited, curated, professionally produced products.

IPSO supports the “many initiatives” launched to better educate and inform the public about fake news, including work being done outside the industry, such as the Commission on Fake News and the Teaching of Critical Literacy Skills, run by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Literacy and the National Literacy Trust, who have recently worked to gather evidence on the impact of fake news on children and young people.

IPSO says that it “fully supports” the work of the Cairncross Review in addressing “difficult questions for which there are no simple answers or straightforward solutions”. To read IPSO’s blog piece in full and for a link to IPSO’s full submission, click here.