Secretary of State pledges to ensure journalists can do their jobs effectively in a changing information world.
Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) today told a major conference that growing Press Freedom was a priority of the UK government.
‘If we want a thriving media sector in the future – our focus has to be on a free press and a press that is free to grow,’ she said. ‘As a government we are taking steps to increase press freedoms and make sure journalists can do their jobs effectively.’
Addressing the Enders Media & Telecoms Conference, Frazer sketched out her blueprint for supporting the UK’s creative industries and safeguarding critical freedoms.
She said her tenure so far has seen accomplishments such as the drafting of a media bill for public service broadcasters and significant investment in youth facilities. She noted the potential in the creative industries, referencing UK triumphs like Sky and Netflix.
She pledged an extra £50bn for the creative sector to create a million jobs by 2030 and outlined intentions to expand the National Youth Guarantee. Frazer sees the DCMS as a talent incubator, creating opportunities for British creatives and athletes.
Frazer drew attention to the worldwide threat to press freedom, referencing the detention of Evan Gershkovich in Russia and challenges posed by AI and fake news. She agreed with The New York Times chairman’s assertion at a recent UNESCO meeting that independent journalists and press freedoms are under attack globally.
Recognising these challenges, she confirmed the UK government’s commitment to enhancing press freedoms. Steps include protecting public service broadcasters and journalists in the draft media bill and the online safety bill, and repealing section 40. These measures aim to guarantee journalists can effectively fulfil their roles.
The media bill, she said, will update old regulations, level the playing field, and secure the future of first-class public service broadcasters. It would also offer Channel 4 more freedoms to produce, own, and sell exceptional British content globally.
Ending her speech, Frazer outlined three guiding principles: protecting public service broadcasters, supporting independent voices, and nurturing a thriving media landscape that champions fearless truth-telling. These principles symbolize seizing potential, embracing opportunities, and safeguarding freedom.