Consultation outcome

Call for evidence on sustainable high-quality journalism in the UK

This consultation has concluded

Detail of outcome

Dame Frances Cairncross was appointed chair of the review into the sustainability of high quality journalism in the UK in March 2018.

It’s purpose was to examine and make recommendations relating to:

  • the overall state of the UK news market
  • threats to financial sustainability of the UK news industry
  • the role and impact of digital search engines and social media platforms
  • and the role of digital advertising

The Call for Evidence closed on 14th September 2018. We received 757 responses. Those that were not marked ‘not for publication’ (excluding public responses) are attached below. A summary of the responses is also included as a appendix in Dame Frances’ report - The Cairncross Review: a sustainable future for journalism.

Feedback received

Detail of feedback received

In total there were 760 respondents to the Cairncross Review call for evidence, including from:

  • publishers (18 submissions)

  • advertising (6 submissions)

  • platforms and tech companies (6 submissions)

  • journalists (11 submissions)

  • industry bodies (33 submissions)

  • non-media bodies/charities (6 submissions)

  • public service broadcasters (2 submissions)

  • academic (24 submissions)

  • other (2 submissions)

Original consultation


The Cairncross Review is examining the sustainability of high-quality journalism in the UK.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

The Cairncross review, under the chairmanship of Dame Frances Cairncross and with the support of an expert panel, is looking at how to sustain the production and distribution of high-quality journalism in a changing market. The review is focused on investigating:

  • The overall state of the news media market
  • Threats to financial sustainability
  • The role and impact of digital search engines and social media platforms
  • How content and data flows are operated and managed
  • The role of digital advertising

The review will pay particular attention to the press. The press plays a critical role in the provision of high-quality journalism in the UK, ensuring that the public has access to a diverse range of views and opinions and supporting democratic engagement. The local and regional press, in particular, have a core social importance in highlighting and addressing local issues, bringing communities together, and holding local government and other public service providers to account.

The review will give equal weight to the needs of consumers and the industry. Read the Terms of Reference for the review.

The review invites any interested organisation or individual to submit written evidence.

Responses will be published in full or summary form unless explicitly flagged ‘not for publication’, in which case they will be kept private.

Further information

In January 2018, DCMS commissioned a piece of academic research to look specifically at the changing state of the press market. This research, produced by Mediatique and available below, provides an evidence base which informs the work of the Cairncross Review, giving invaluable evidence and insight into the market, the new business models being deployed by news publishers, and trends in media provision and distribution.


Call for evidence on sustainable high-quality journalism in the UK questions (PDF)

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Published 28 June 2018
Last updated 12 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added summary and all submissions to call for evidence.

  2. First published.