A new Deloitte report, commissioned by the News Media Association (NMA), reveals the contemporary economic and social benefits of newsbrands.
Published today, the report shows that the national and local newsbrand industry contributed £5.3 billion to the UK economy in 2015.
UK News Media: an engine of original news content and democracy also found that activity by newsbrand publishers supports value in many different businesses and that more of the money spent by publishers with suppliers remains within the UK (90%) than the average across the economy as a whole (77%).
Newsbrands are by far the biggest investors in original news content - accounting for 58% of the total investment in news production.
In addition to the sector's economic contribution to the UK, the report found that the journalism invested in by newsbrands has a unique and wide-ranging set of benefits such as boosting SMEs, improving literacy, enhancing community cohesion and, crucially, underpinning democracy by holding powerful figures and institutions to account. A gallery of the report's case studies on newsbrands' investigations and campaigns can be found here.
Other key findings include:
- Newsbrand publishers invested £97 million in digital services in 2015
- The newsbrand industry adds value across the supply chain with the average publisher dealing with nearly 2,600 suppliers
- The sector supports an estimated 87,500 UK jobs across the UK economy
- The industry generated £4.8 billion revenue through circulation and advertising in 2015
Ashley Highfield, chairman of the NMA, said: "This report provides compelling evidence of the significant economic, cultural and social value that news media contributes to the UK. The industry is committed to continuing to invest in original news content.
"The industry performs a unique democratic function by investing in agenda-setting investigative journalism which holds authority to account such as the Guardian's Panama Papers revelations, The Sunday Times' investigation into FIFA and the Jersey Evening Post's investigation into online child grooming that was praised by the NSPCC.
"The report also presents the challenges the industry is facing. This highlights the urgent need for a fair and equitable regime in which news media publishers' investment in news is appropriately acknowledged and rewarded, without the commercial benefits being siphoned off by digital platforms and aggregators."
David Dinsmore, vice chairman of the NMA, added: "This report makes it abundantly clear that well researched, properly produced journalism which holds the powerful to account is more in demand and more needed in our society than ever before.
"Urgent action must be taken to ensure that news media publishers' ability to fund the original agenda-setting news and information our readers want us to produce is not fatally undermined by third parties who gain so much from our investment while contributing very little."
Ed Shedd, partner and head of technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte, commented: "It is clear that the news media industry makes extremely valuable economic contribution to the UK. This is a vibrant sector that distributes value across the supply chain."
You can read the full report here.
by Jessie Sampson