To understand how journalism has evolved in the United Kingdom with the advent of electronic media, the House of Lords have begun an investigation asking journalists for their take on the changes.
The new generation of journalists
The House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee seeks to support the work of journalists in new ways, now that trust in journalists has sunk to a new low.
However, the Peers in the House of Lords have little insight into how journalism is done in the age of the internet and want to learn all about it.
Until March 25, evidence may be provided to try to answer the multiple questions of the committee.
Lord Gilbert of Panteg, Chairman of the committee submitted the inquiry.
Gilbert said in the statement accompanying the investigation that journalism is an important part of the UK, but that recent changes in the way news is consumed have made it difficult to legislate in favor of journalists.
It also wants input on how journalists “can become more trusted by the general public”
Lord Gilbert added: “Public trust in journalists has fallen and is particularly low outside of London and other metropolitan hubs.
“This may be connected to the profession not being representative of the population it is serving. Only 11 per cent of journalists are from working class backgrounds and only six per cent are not white.”
The research would not only be aimed at news sites but covers every platform where information can be published, such as social networks.
Gilbert says that today each individual has the power to publish news and opinion articles; thanks to this, classic information providers are being relegated in favor of instant messages on social networks. Unable to compete against the speed of the internet, they have been forced to adopt digital media.
For the committee, this radical change requires journalists to have a new range of skills and knowledge that were not necessary before and that therefore leaves many workers obsolete.
Results of the lack of legislation
In addition to the lack of trained personnel to practice modern journalism, the current perception of citizens to the profession is also added.
According to government reports, people no longer believe in journalists, a phenomenon that is most noticeable in small towns. The same report indicates that this distrust is caused because journalists do not represent the people.
Due to this, the committee has two objectives: the first is to help the 70,000 journalists in the nation to adapt to the digital era. The second objective is to encourage the study of the profession to better represent the citizens' interests.
It should be noted that the government has already adopted some mechanisms to support the journalism industry, such as the investment of £2 million for the development of the profession, but this has not been enough.