Mapping Digital Media: United Kingdom

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The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Covering 60 countries, the project examines how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs.

Research shows that near-universal digital media access in the United Kingdom has yielded broad benefits for citizenship and democracy. But key areas of concern have emerged that continue to pose threats to independence and diversity. These include sustained financial crises within regional and local media, public service broadcasting, and the press sector at large; acute sites of cross-media concentration; and persistent digital divides in terms of access to “quality” output.

This report calls on policymakers to consider new funding options and structures to safeguard the future of public-interest oriented news. It also argues for establishing a Media Commission to research and make recommendations on the future of the news media in the UK.