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Journalism matters: Sir Keir Starmer discusses Labour’s views on news content

Impartial and responsible journalism is the cornerstone of a healthy and secure democracy. He must be protected.

Journalism matters because it chronicles the struggles and successes of people and communities across our country, providing a common thread.

It educates the public on critical issues such as the cost of living crisis and the reality of life in communities other than our own. It exposes scandals.

It highlights global issues like climate change. We are fortunate to take advantage of the unbiased and free press that we have in this country.

If anything has been questioned, the past momentous year has shown the importance of journalists who have chronicled our national history.

Read more: Journalism Matters Week: What Owen Meredith of the News Media Association says

From coverage of people gathering across the country to celebrate the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, to national mourning for her recent passing.

From campaign journalism exposing abuses of power and holding those responsible to account, to uniting the nation to encourage our sporting prowess.

Our sporting triumphs at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham were marked across the UK, and little girls everywhere realized they too could be Lionesses on the world stage, thanks to our free press.

Journalism is far from an easy job. We have seen countless reports from British journalists and broadcasters this year bravely risking their lives to tell the truth and challenge Russian misinformation about Putin’s barbaric war in Ukraine.

And yet, despite the increased importance of their vocation, journalists around the world face an increasing array of threats and intimidation designed to silence them.

These gross and dangerous attempts at censorship are an attack on all of us and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

Labor will take a different stance on national broadcasters and local newspapers.

The UK’s proud history of unbiased journalism is under threat from the Conservatives’ politicization of our media landscape.

Their attacks on British press institutions are a stain on the fabric of British culture.

My Labor Government will free the BBC from party political interference, and we oppose the privatization of Channel 4.

And the Conservatives’ refusal to engage adequately with local newspapers and radio is short-sighted and disrespectful.

Talking to local newspapers while touring the country is an important way for me to not only get our message across, but also find out what the local people are worried about, what they need and what they yearn for.

It’s not just about culture and a vital free press. The creative industries and the talent pipelines they nurture are a driver of economic growth in many cities across the UK.

I also recognize that the landscape is changing. The big tech platforms now dominate the online advertising market, to the detriment of consumers, potential rivals and newspapers.

The way the government has dragged its feet in leveling the playing field between big tech platforms and news outlets threatens the sustainability of journalism.

Paralyzed by the chaos, action on this vital issue to ensure a sustainable future for journalism is stuck in a legislative deadlock.

In the age of platforms, it’s only right that creators be fairly rewarded for their work and not just the platforms that profit from it.

That’s why we support initiatives to make platforms pay for news content and give newspapers and publishers greater control over their data and content.

The government must act to ensure the future of our media. Labor is proud of our country, and of the journalists who report on our daily lives.

They have a crucial role to play in holding us to account and a special place of trust in the life of the nation. We remain committed to ensuring a sustainable and secure future for our media.

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