Journalism Matters: Culture Secretary And Shadow Culture Secretary Highlight Importance Of Trusted Journalism

The Culture Secretary and Shadow Culture Secretary have today highlighted the vital importance of trusted journalism to society and outlined their plans to support a free and sustainable press.

In articles for the News Media Association’s Journalism Matters campaign, which kicks off today and runs for the next week, Lucy Frazer MP and Thangam Debbonaire MP have made clear that supporting trusted journalism is a top priority for them both.

Their attached articles were published alongside an op ed by NMA chief executive Owen Meredith who, in the week the inaugural AI safety summit will at Bletchley Park this week, called for governments and regulators to recognise the impact of AI on the media sector.

In her article, Lucy Frazer said: “My priority, and that of this Government, will always be standing right behind our media and protecting freedom of the press at every turn. That means helping our media organisations tackle the challenges of today. To support them, we have published a draft Media Bill.

“That Bill will not only level the playing field for our public service broadcasters with streaming giants, it will repeal Section 40, an arcane rule which could threaten media freedom and risk financial ruin for any publisher.”

Thangam Debbonaire said in her op ed: “There is also an urgent need to level the playing field between news publishers, the main investors in journalism, and big tech platforms. We must maintain robust copyright protections for content creators, and they must be fairly rewarded for their work.

“Labour has called for the Government to require platforms to pay newspapers for their content. If negotiations fail, we believe an independent arbitrator would set a fair price. Newspapers and publishers should also have greater control of their data and content.”

In his article, Owen Meredith said: “More than ever, we need trusted sources of information such as news brands to counteract the onslaught of false information and enable us make sense of the complex world we live in today.

“That’s why data out later this week which is expected to show huge audiences for local news media is so important. People are rightly hungry for authoritative sources of news and information – we must continue to ensure that supply matches demand.”

Coordinated by the NMA, the weeklong Journalism Matters campaign focusses this year on the rise of AI and the critical importance of trusted journalism to combat misinformation as political parties gear up for a likely general election next year.

This morning, the Making a Difference public online vote for the best local and national campaigns of the past year go live and will run until Wednesday.  

Journalism Matters is the news media industry’s campaign to highlight the vital importance of trusted journalism to society, last year receiving the backing of Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and then Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan, among others.