Hancock Cites Importance of ‘Appropriate Funding Relationship’ Between Tech Giants and News Media

Culture Minister Matt Hancock has said finding an “appropriate funding relationship” between advertising and journalistic content is “incredibly important,” Press Gazette reported yesterday.

Speaking at the Professional Publishers Association Festival Press Gazette reported Mr Hancock as saying: “Making sure that there is the appropriate support and the appropriate funding relationship between the producer of the content and the advertising that pays for it, I think that is incredibly important.”

He added: “We have got to make sure that we find a sustainable funding model for the media industry that will ensure high quality journalism, without fear or favour, is properly supported and funded by the people who enjoy its content.

“And that is not only important on a commercial basis, but… for the public service too, and so it’s very important that we get this right.”

“When I spoke in general terms at the start of this [session] about showing that content was well supported, I mean a lot of the details of that are trying to find a way that there is a sustainable business model for people who produce content when it is consumed online.

“In the same way that the music industry, through streaming, has found a subscription based sustainable business model after many years of searching… it now appears to have found one.”

The News Media Association is pressing for an urgent investigation into the impact of Google, Facebook, and a digital advertising supply chain on news media publishers, the investors in content. Press Gazette has a launched its Dupoloy campaign “to stop this duopoly destroying journalism.”

At the PPA Festival, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Timothy Clement-Jones also raised concerns over Facebook’s sharing of terrorist and graphic content. He said: “There are many other aspects of the behaviour of the platforms which I find are going to become ever more important… it’s a huge issue…

“We have to do something about the advertising on the platforms as well, because we’ve seen some of the issues about the encouragement of terrorism on websites and pornography and so on, so there’s a huge issue in relation increasingly to the power of Facebook, Google, Twitter and so on.

“And we need to be addressing that in very short order.

“I don’t think the Digital Economy Bill has gone far enough in that respect. We argued for it and I think that will be a continuing debate. But it affects almost all of the creative industries now – any of these industries that have a digital presence.”