Online platforms should be regulated to ensure quality journalism - report

Tyrone Stewart

Facebook app iconA government-backed report has suggested that major tech firms like Google, Facebook, and Apple should be regulated to ensure the quality of online journalism and stop the spread of fake news.

The Cairncross Review, an independent review undertaken on behalf of the government by former journalist Dame Frances Cairncross, concluded that more has to be done shift the uneven balance of power between news publishers and online platforms, while a regulator should supervise internet giants on their work to eradicate fake news and the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) should investigate online advertising to ensure fair competition.

“The proposals I have put forward have the potential to improve the outlook for high quality journalism,” said Cairncross. “They are designed to encourage new models to emerge, with the help of innovation not just in technology but in business systems and journalistic techniques.”

Away from the purely online side of journalism, the review also suggests that Ofcom should assess the BBC and whether it oversteps the mark with some of its coverage that could be better served by commercial news providers. Furthermore, it states that a new independent institute should be created to provide future provision of public interest news, as well as a new innovation fund to improve the supply of public interest news.