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Date : 02/04/2020 | Time : 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm | Location : The North Library, The Athenaeum Club

Given the latest Government advice, and after consulting the Committee, we have regretfully decided to postpone this event. We hope to reschedule when the situation improves.

Dame Frances Cairncross will review her report for a sustainable future for journalism a year after its publication.

Is British journalism in dire decline? What progress has been made in the year since the Cairncross Review set out 10 ways in which the current scene could be improved?  Access to news is changing more rapidly and radically than ever before. This digital revolution is bringing enormous potential benefits but is also challenging the future of news provision.

The rapid consumer move to getting news on-line, immediately accessible and mostly free, has undermined the economic model that provided great training opportunities for journalists in publishing.  Loss of local papers, or of local staff for regional versions of networked papers, combined with the reduction in circulation of the 10 daily national papers has had a major impact. The Cairncross Report noted the press had invested more money and skilled journalism into news gathering than broadcasters have done. Research by Mediatique noted that investigative journalism “easily the riskiest and most expensive activity” was led by the publishers. Journalism both online and print is in serious difficulties in Australia, Canada, and across Europe. The UK is not alone in this tangled field, but are we doing enough to ensure we have a high standard journalism to keep our national bodies honest.

Dame Frances Cairncross is a British economist and respected journalist who in 2018 was appointed by the government to lead an independent review into the future of British journalism. Educated at St Anne’s College, Oxford and Brown University in the USA, she spent over 30 years working for a number of publications, most notably The Guardian (1973-1984) and The Economist (1984-2004). In 2004 Cairncross was appointed Rector of Exeter College, Oxford, where she remained for ten years. She was made a Dame of the British (DBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to education in June 2015.  

There will be a reception at 6.30pm – wine, soft drinks and light snacks will be on offer – and the talk will commence at 7.00pm The dress code at the Athenaeum is jackets and ties for men and ‘smart’ for women. 


HFA Member – £20

Members’ guests – £15

Non-member – £23

Non-members’ guests – £20


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