The Cairncross Review has published its much anticipated report into the future of the UK news industry.

Published today (12 February 2019) by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the report recommends:

  • Direct funding for public-interest news outlets, with public funds used to support the reporting of local democracy through a new institute of public interest news
  • An investigation by the Competition Regulator into the online advertising marketplace, which would consider whether Facebook and Google’s positions are too dominant
  • A new code of conduct between publishers and large tech companies, overseen by a regulator which would ensure tech firms treat news publishers fairly
  • Tax relief for publishers which invest in public interest journalism, potentially by giving charitable status to some publishers
  • Removing the 20% VAT tax on digital news subscriptions, bringing online paywalls in line with printed newspapers

NFRN response

The NFRN is pleased that the review has made some recommendations to ensure the survival of local papers but disappointed that these measures do not look into the news supply chain.

Related content