29th May 2024
Election 2024: The Questions To Ask Politicians If You Want A Better Media In The UK

Five years have passed since our last election and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has now announced the next one will take place on 4 July, 2024. 

After heading to the polls in 2019, a lot has happened, much of which has likely left you either upset, angry, confused, apathetic or maybe even all four to some degree. But many of you are likely eager to have your say once again.  

The media landscape has also transformed over that half-decade. The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the financial frailties many publishers face, the spectre of SLAPPs continued to limit freedom of the press, and Artificial Intelligence rose to prominence, threatening to single-handedly transform the industry.  

Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act – introduced in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking and intrusion by the press – has been abandoned by the Government, leaving a void for new incentives for publishers to take up independent press regulation.  

We know there is still a serious hunger for improvements to the media – both from the public and those in the industry. We hear it and see it every single day from publishers and other stakeholders.  

This election offers the perfect opportunity to demand some solutions that work from those that have the power to implement them. 

So, if you care about ethical journalism, want to support journalists and champion local news, and want to see real progress on protecting press freedoms, open pathways to justice for everyone, and improve access to accurate information, we have SIX QUESTIONS you can ask your local parliamentary candidates.  

After reading, get in touch with your candidates! Find out your local parliamentary candidates and how to contact them here 

How will you work to balance publisher’s right to freedom of expression with the public’s right to access justice if they are wronged? 

Pernicious lawsuits have skyrocketed since the last election with the rich and powerful able to silence journalists with the simple threat of costly legal actions – even when the story in question is completely founded in fact. There are fair and accessible alternative ways to resolve legitimate complaints and disputesbenefiting both publishers and the public – will politicians support these or continue to let wealthy interests decide? 

Will you personally commit to improving transparency between the government and publishers, so the public can access information that is important to their lives 

Freedom of information has plummeted in recent years, while politicians have increasingly dodged scrutiny in the form of interviews. The public have a right to be informed and have access to accurate information. Openness and transparency between politicians and journalists is a vital part of this 

What steps will you take to improve news literacy levels among the British public if you are elected?  

It is essential that both present and future citizens have the skills required to evaluate and discern accurate information from inaccurate information. Will they back calls to integrate news literacy lessons into the national curriculum? Will they support news literacy research grants?  

How will you help to build a thriving, competitive media sector that welcomes innovation and new publishers?  

There are hundreds of community publishers in Britain that often break stories ahead of the national press and are of crucial importance to their readers. If we want a healthy, thriving media sector, then supporting that diversity of voice is an absolute necessity.  

Now that the Online Safety Act has become law, what future steps do you plan to take to ensure younger generations are not exposed to damaging content or misinformation?  

Protecting young people when they are online is of the utmost importance. But just because that legislation has been approved does not mean politicians should rest on their laurels. Continuous and flexible action will be needed to tackle misinformation online moving forward 

How will you assist news outlets in diversifying income avenues and discovering incentives, in turn helping them move away from tactics such as clickbait?  

Clickbait and similar tactics help spread misinformation. Stories that will attract interactions are prioritised over accurate information due to how advertising in online media works. If publishers had greater financial security and a larger pool of income opportunities, these tactics would be redundant.  

Get in touch with your candidates! Find out your local parliamentary candidates and how to contact them here 

Media enquiries

Louie Chandler: louie@impressreg.org.uk / 02033076778

About Impress 

Impress is a champion for news that can be trusted. We are here to make sure news providers can publish with integrity; and the public can engage in an ever-changing media landscape with confidence. We set the highest regulatory standards for news, offer education to help people make informed choices and provide resolution when disputes arise.