Cairncross Review: CIPR backs recommendations to protect UK press

The CIPR has welcomed a proposal to create a new Institute for Public Interest News to protect high quality journalism and prevent the collapse of the local news industry.

The initiative is one of nine recommendations published in the Cairncross Review exploring the sustainability of the UK news industry.

The report warns that a lack of resource for investigative journalism and democracy reporting, covering discussions at local councils and magistrate courts, poses a threat to the long-term sustainability of democracy.

The recommendations suggest the new Institute could operate similarly to the Arts Council by conducting research, building partnerships with universities and improving accessibility and readership of quality online news.

The Review also recommends a regulator be appointed to ensure news large technology companies such as Google and Facebook publish trustworthy news. The regulator would oversee a new code of conduct for technology companies.

The CIPR has consistently argued technology companies must take more responsibility for content appearing on their platforms. A new category which falls between ‘platform’ and ‘publisher' would give the government scope to consider future legislation more relevant to large tech firms.

Sarah Hall Chart.PR, FCIPR, CIPR Vice President
There are two key issues here. Firstly, public relations needs a healthy press industry. As PR professionals, our ability to build successful, long-term relationships is dependent on honest and reliable communication. Newspapers and online publishers play a key role in that process and the sustainability of the press is in the interests of all PR professionals. We wholeheartedly welcome the recommendations of the Cairncross Review, including tax relief to encourage the provision of local journalism.  

Secondly, we support calls to supervise tech companies’ efforts to identify reliable and trustworthy sources of news. These efforts are essential to tackling the challenges of disinformation and fake news. The creation of a third category beyond ‘platform’ and ‘publisher’ would lay the ground for sensible and proportionate regulation of tech firms.
Sarah Hall Chart.PR, FCIPR, CIPR Vice President

The CIPR hosted a debate on the of investment in local media with Matt Rodda MP and an esteemed panel of journalists in November 2017. Watch the full debate online.  

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).