Uncovering Media Influence in the UK

The project is part of the Center's Media Influence Matrix project that investigates the profound influence that rapid shifts in policy, sources of funding and technology companies in the public sphere are having on journalism today.

The project seeks to research the changing media landscape of the United Kingdom in three fields: 

  • government and policy space, with a focus on the changes in the policy and regulatory environment; 
  • funding, with a focus on the key funding sources of journalism and the impact on editorial coverage; 
  • technology in the public sphere, with a focus on how technology companies, through activities such as automation and algorithm-based content distribution, impact news media and journalism.

As the Center has done in the other countries included in the Matrix, the report on the UK is produced together with local partners. Researchers based in the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre carry out the data analysis while the Media Reform Coalition (MRC), a UK-based independent coalition of groups and individuals committed to maximizing the public interest in communications, coordinates advocacy and dissemination activities and serves as the main UK partner in the project. 

The report’s policy recommendations are drafted in consultation with theMedia Policy Project at the London School of Economics (LSE). The research and advocacy work in the UK are managed by Des Freedman, a founding member of MRC, now Deputy Head of Department and Co-Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre.  

Lead researcher and main author of the report is Leo Watkins, a former commercial media analyst, a PhD student in media and communications at Goldsmiths, and a member of the Media Reform Coalition’s coordinating committee. 

The research on the UK is funded by a grant provided by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trusta philanthropic grant making trust that supports work undertaken in the UK and Ireland.

CMDS team members involved in the project:

Advocacy and Research TEAM Based In the UK:


Published ARTICLES 

  1. Decriminalising TV Licence Fee Evasion will Cut BBC Funding without Helping the Poorest (Leo Watkins, LSE Blog)
  2. The Cosy Politics of the BBC Chair (Tom Chivers, The Tribune)
  3. Online Harms: Why We need a Systems-Based Approach Towards Internet Regulation (Poppy Wood, LSE Blog)
  4. Britain's Media Monopoly Is a Threat to Democracy (Tom Chivers, The Tribune)
  5. Beware, revamped and tougher official secrets laws are coming (Barry White, Inforrm.org)
  6. Can Philanthropy Save Public Interest Journalism? (Rodney Benson, Byline Times)
  7. Media Self-Regulation: Can the UK Inspire Central and Eastern European Countries? (Dumitrita Holdis, The CMDS Blog)
  8. GB News: the rise of UK's new rightwing media isn't over yet (Naomi Smith, Huck Magazine)
  9. Public Interest News: Securing a Future for Nonprofit Journalism (Leo Watkins, Hacked Off)
  10. Ownership rules ok? The need for a tougher UK media plurality regime (Justin Schlosberg, LSE Blog)