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NMA highlights industry’s role as major contributor to UK economy

The News Media Association has highlighted the news media industry’s contribution to the UK economy and in particular its role as a major investor in digital services following the Government’s unveiling of its Digital Strategy yesterday.

The NMA has pointed out that the news media industry contributed an estimated £5.3 billion in gross value added to the UK economy in 2015 and invested more than £97 million in digital services, as well as performing a vital democratic function through the production of unique and original journalism, according to recent study by Deloitte.

But the ability of the industry to continue to invest in journalism and digital services is currently under threat because online aggregators and social platforms are able to siphon off revenues which should be going to news media publishers as the investors in original content.

Yesterday, the Government unveiled its Digital Strategy for the UK which aims to place the UK at the heart of the global boom in digital technology. Announcing the plans, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley highlighted in the fantastic innovation digital in the UK and outlined a series of plans including partnerships with private sector organisations to increase digital skills in the UK.

Other initiatives included the creation of five tech hubs in emerging markets to develop partnerships between UK companies and local firms, a competition to spark development of new fintech products, a new forum for government to work with the tech community to boost growth in digital, as well as other initiatives aimed at boosting connectivity.

Following the announcement, the News Media Association has highlighted the news media sector’s strong investment in digital services and contribution to the UK economy as well as its democratic function as a provider of unique agenda-setting journalism, as laid out in Deloitte’s report ‘UK News Media: Engine of Original News Content and Democracy’.

The NMA said: “The news media industry is a major innovator and investor in digital services and technology which is used to take original and unique journalism to the growing audiences who demand it and want to access it across multiple platforms.

“But there currently exists an imbalance which is harming news media publishers and their ability to invest in journalism, whereby third parties are able to unfairly siphon off the commercial rewards which should be going to news media publishers as the investors in agenda setting journalism.”

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