Sameer’s journalism.co.uk 2023 prediction

Marcela Kunova and Jacob Granger invited people from across the UK journalism field to contribute their predictions for journalism in 2023. Here’s Sameer’s prediction, featured alongside predictions from Jonathan Heawood of our client PINF, and long-standing friend and ally Shirish Kulkarni:

That clinking sound is pennies dropping across society about the wider value of journalism, especially at the local level. This coming year we will see a range of new supporters of and investors in public interest journalism, as they begin to realise that helping to sustain it is a collective responsibility and brings both a social and financial ROI to society.

In recent years, we have seen flickers of this: a church seeking a community journalist, a supermarket supporting research on women in journalism, and a Cumbrian businessman in the nuclear industry saving his local paper and two more local outlets.

But efforts have mainly focused on persuading three bodies to step in to ‘save journalism’: a reluctant UK government, Big Tech, and philanthropy. Platters piled high with steaming, aromatic recommendations over a decade or more from successive committees, panels and consultations have failed to dislodge much at all.

But, in conversations happening in communities across the UK, I am struck by how acutely aware people from all walks of life are of the erosion of genuinely local journalism, and the loss it represents in their communities. Members of investment agencies, councils, business associations, churches and mosques, arts and creative industry bodies, community foundations, banks and credit unions, NHS units, community groups all depend on, and are deeply concerned about the state of local media.

No one I have met expects journalism to live on handouts – they want strong, independent outlets, with diverse revenue streams, reflecting and serving their communities. But they see the brutal economic conditions extinguishing local media of all types, they fear for their localities, economies, and democracy, and they want to help.

As those pennies start to drop in ever greater numbers, who knows what they might finally amount to?

journalism.co.uk’s Predictions for Journalism in 2023 – 21 December 2022

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