Better Journalism in the Digital Age (Executive Summary)

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Author: Blair Jenkins

Year: 2012

Recommendations To Support The Future Of UK Journalism


Journalism is a profession based on trust. People need to know that the news they are viewing, or listening to, or reading is fair and accurate and honest. In the end, journalists have to be proud and protective of their ethical and editorial standards, built on the secure foundations of integrity and experience.

The purpose of this report, written by Carnegie Fellow Blair Jenkins, is to examine some of the challenges and opportunities facing serious journalism in the UK and to make suggestions about actions and initiatives that will strengthen the supply of high quality news.

The report makes 7 key recommendations:

1. A new and more evidently independent press regulator, with substantial, non-statutory powers to investigate unethical behaviour and impose significant sanctions, including financial penalties. The new system should be centred on the existing conventions around press accreditation and recognition.

2. The adoption of a new industry-wide code of conduct by all journalists and news organisations.  The standards should be universal and transferable between all bona fide press, broadcast and online news services.

3. The maintenance or strengthening of public service broadcasting to ensure that not all new ventures are commercially driven.

4. New investment from civil society organisations to help fund new and innovative journalism initiatives – strengthening quality and diversity across the sector.

5. A renewed emphasis in journalism training on professional ethics and the public interest, as well as on technical and production skills.

6. Ongoing involvement from citizens, civil society, universities, regulators and the industry in a debate around media ethics, in a serious and informed discussion of editorial decisions and challenges.

7. Extending and completing the availability and take-up of high-speed broadband access, to ensure that everyone has access to a wide range of digital news services and participatory media.

This is the Executive Summary of the report. The full version of the report is also available in the Publications Library on this website.

To open the report, click on the image above.

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