“If information is not reliable and verifiable, it is at best useless and at worst dangerous,” newspaper publisher Ken Waddell told the Canadian parliament – which is investigating what is happening to the media and the likely future of the press.
It is estimated that the US and Canada have lost 50% of their journalists over the past 10 years. Continuing falls in sales and advertising revenue (the long decline in print advertising actually accelerated in 2016) mean a smaller and weaker press. And that could have dire consequences for democracy.
Important questions are:
- Is journalism a public good? And if so, how do we pay for it?
- What is the role of Google and Facebook in delivering news and comment?
- What are the media models, new and legacy, likely to propel us into the 2020s?
For more on the Canadian investigation and the current state of the press see Nieman Lab blog: Newsonomics