Public Interest Journalism Working Group


This group is no longer active.

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.  


Industry members:

  • 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
  • John McLellan, Scottish Newspaper Society 
  • Joyce McMillan, independent journalist
  • Frances Rafferty, NUJ
  • Allan Rennie, University of Stirling
  • John Toner, NUJ
  • Denise West, Media Consultant
  • Matt Abbott, Independent Community News Network

Scottish Government staff:

  • Jane Holligan, Head of Creative Industries Screen and Media Policy, Scottish Government
  • Emily Green, Screen and Media Policy Team Leader, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • India Divers, Creative Industries, Screen and Media Policy Unit, Scottish Government (Secretariat)


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