Cairncross review: two cheers and two fears for the future of UK journalism – Steven Barnett

15 02 2019

File 20190213 181609 1hjbk2n.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

When the then culture secretary, Matt Hancock, first announced a government review of the future of “high-quality” journalism, there was widespread scepticism about his motives. Having just surrendered to a powerful press lobby in abandoning the Leveson recommendations on self-regulation, was this government making an honest attempt to resolve the growing and serious problem of journalism’s broken business model? Read the rest of this entry »





Reform charity law to allow funding of public interest journalism – Steven Barnett and Judith Townend

4 09 2018

File 20180830 195322 1jsn82v.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1Reactions to Jeremy Corbyn’s alternative MacTaggart lecture were predictably mixed. But amid proposals that attracted both acclaim and opprobrium in equal measure was one that was barely noticed. Read the rest of this entry »





The government scuppers Leveson Part 2: is Britain’s press undermining democracy? – Steven Barnett

22 05 2018

Recent amendments to the Data Protection Bill, supported by the House of Lords and then narrowly defeated in the Commons, would have revived Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry into unlawful conduct and corporate cover-ups in national newspapers. Read the rest of this entry »





Stop Funding Hate and the Daily Mail: Who are the Bullies? – Steven Barnett

28 03 2018

Many years ago, in those halcyon days when The Guardian could afford to pay freelancers, I was commissioned to write a piece on the beginnings of TV sponsorship. Shockingly, rules were about to be relaxed to allow commercial channels to seek sponsors for programmes (it was a very long time ago). Read the rest of this entry »





Why Theresa May’s plan to save local journalism could end up benefiting media moguls – Steven Barnett

10 02 2018

File 20180209 51697 473zlb.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1There are two ways of looking at the new Press Review announced by Theresa May, the UK prime minister: a genuine attempt to inject some badly needed funds into the failing business model of journalism, or another backhander to the mainstream corporate press to keep them sweet. Depressingly, history suggests the latter. Read the rest of this entry »





Unveiling BBC talent’s pay is a deliberate attempt to undermine a great British institution – Steven Barnett

20 07 2017

Anyone who seriously believes that a government dictat obliging the BBC to reveal salaries of its top talent was genuinely driven by concerns about accountability should look carefully at those who champion the cause. Read the rest of this entry »





Fox, Sky and Murdoch: will Bradley have the courage to resist? – Steven Barnett

30 06 2017

Yesterday’s announcement by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley that she is “minded” to refer the bid by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox to the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) is welcome. Read the rest of this entry »