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Cairncross Review - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:02 pm on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Birt Lord Birt Crossbench 5:02 pm, 12th February 2019

My Lords, I spent much of my career in broadcast journalism in a period characterised by high-volume, high-quality journalism, well resourced both in broadcast and in print. There is still some good journalism in all media, but let us recognise that the bus left long ago and that there has been a vast reduction in the volume of quality journalism and a vast reduction in the necessary resources that are always needed to produce journalism of high quality.

In the last hour or so I have quickly scanned this ambition report with its far-reaching conclusions and recommendations, not all of which immediately strike me as right. I echo what the noble Lord, Lord McNally, said. There are few matters as important for this House as those set out in this report, and this issue cannot be dealt with here in a few moments of questions and answers—so I too ask the Government to consider setting aside a serious and substantial amount of time to deal at length and properly with these issues.