‘The research’, a bit like ‘The Science’, can sometimes end up going up its own wazoo and leading us precisely nowhere. There’s also the nagging suspicion that researchers sometimes know the destination and are just trying to find a robust route to locate it.
There’s no doubting that all the right spadework has gone into this piece of research. A nine-page methodology document sets out to clarify its credentials, covering semiotics, behavioural experiments and quantitative surveys.
And the results are unequivocal. We love news and we want it to stay. Journalists, even when the bearers of sad and well as glad tidings, are doing a great job keeping the country both informed and entertained while shining lights in dark corners.
Sadly, as an old friend of mine often says: ‘Fine words butter no parsnips’. While the philosophical argument about the value of journalism will be encouraged no end by this report, the struggle for the financial future in this uncertain world will go on.
But, as Tiny Tim didn’t quite say in A Christmas Carol: “God bless journalists, every one!"
Reflections on A World Without News
Full report in the November issue of PJ News