Quality content is not being sufficiently rewarded, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has said today.
Delivering a speech to the Society of Editors conference in Manchester, Jeremy Wright MP said that while he believed social media had brought great opportunities, it is vital that media organisation were rewarded for their work.
He said: “It is undeniable that the digital revolution has led to a world in which the value of quality content is not sufficiently rewarded.
“This means an understandable but harmful trend towards cheaper to produce content, which endangers the investigative journalism that needs time and resources to do well,” he said.
He added that there was an urgent need to look more closely at the issue.
He added: “On the one hand, I firmly believe that technology is a force for good and that social media platforms have brought great opportunities.
“But many of these platforms are powered by the sharing of news, and it is vital that the producers of this news are recognised and rewarded. I have urged Dame Frances to look carefully at this point.”
The government is thinking long and hard about how to support a vibrant press and the sustainability of the newspaper industry he said but the media should also take responsibility for maintaining public trust and in ensuring that newsrooms are representatives of the communities they serve.
He said: “The press must also look at itself. Not only in terms of testing new business models, but in terms of remaining relevant to our discourse as a society in representing and reflecting the communities that you serve.
“The transfer of trust from generation to generation can no longer be taken for granted. But neither is it unachievable.
The shift to online presents opportunities to engage new audiences he said and proper representation is vital to winning and maintaining their trust.
“That means greater ethnic and gender diversity and greater diversity in the background of those who work in the press industry, and drawing on the talents of more of the country’s geography” he added.
“Proper representation can be achieved in a variety of ways. And I would urge you, just as you ask probing questions of others, to ask probing questions about the make up of your own organisations.
“Not simply because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes good business sense.
“A more representative press is more likely to reach more people.”
Read the full text of the speech here.