25 February 2009

Study Suggests Future News Models

The future of the press and television in the digital age is the subject of an in-depth study from the University of Oxford.

What’s happening to our news” paints a picture of the current trends in the news media as a result of the digital revolution – such as the impact of search engines and search engine optimization.

Author Dr Andrew Currah also predicts bad news ahead for the industry if newspapers continue along this route, chasing “clickstream” audiences online and reducing expenditure on original news-gathering.

To this end, Currah concludes his extensive study by proffering some possible solutions to ensure a positive future for newspapers.

He suggests that the government could introduce “targeted tax breaks for public interest news publishing” to ensure the funds are there to support investigative journalism.

In addition, the University of Oxford lecturer recommends the government should also look to widen the scope for charitable organisations to fund news providers which concentrate on original news-gathering and reporting.

Currah also contends that some form of voluntary kitemark could help restore public trust in media products.

The detailed report, produced by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, is available online as a pdf file .

An edited extract of the report from Dr Currah can be found at guardian.co.uk and an email interview with the author on the issue of kitemarks can be seen on the Online Journalism Blog.

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