Public Interest Journalism Working Group

Overview

The Public Interest Journalism Working Group has been established as a short-life working group at the request of the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture.  

Public interest journalism has faced a number of significant challenges in recent years, including declining newspaper circulations, an increase in alternative news sources, the challenge of tech firms, both as sources of content and as advertising platforms; and ongoing questions about the reliability and objectivity of news sources. Many of these have been long-term problems, but the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened and accelerated the challenges faced by the sector.

The purpose of the Public Interest Journalism Working Group is to consider the long-term sustainability of public interest journalism in Scotland and recommend ways to ensure its ongoing resilience and relevance.  

Members

Industry members:

  • Stuart Birkett, Highland News and Media
  • Richard Bogie, News Scotland
  • Rhiannon Davies, Greater Govanhill
  • Rob Edwards, The Ferret
  • Rachel Hamada, Bureau of Investigative Journalism
  • Jonathan Heawood, Executive Director, Public Interest News Foundation
  • Hans Marter, Shetland News
  • Emma Meese, Independent Community News Network
  • John McLellan, Scottish Newspaper Society 
  • Joyce McMillan, independent journalist
  • Frances Rafferty, NUJ
  • Allan Rennie, University of Stirling
  • John Toner, NUJ
  • Denise West, Media Consultant

Scottish Government staff:

  • Simon Cuthbert-Kerr, Head of Creative Industries, Screen and Media (Chair)
  • India Divers, Creative Industries, Screen and Media Policy Unit, Scottish Government (Secretariat)
  • Hazel Parkinson, Creative Industries, Screen and Media Policy Unit, Scottish Government (Secretariat) 
     

Documents