Cairncross Review: Bates Wells responds to conclusions

Following the publication of the Cairncross Review, the independent report into the financial future of the UK news industry, Lawrie Simanowitz has given his reaction to the Review’s findings and recommendations.


Pointing out that local journalism is in a parlous state, Lawrie argues that some media organisations could be permitted to apply for charitable status. This is a move which, as Lawrie suggests, would provide a number of financial benefits to media outlets which are struggling to cope with the adverse commercial situation affecting all UK media.

Summing up his views Lawrie Simanowitz, partner, Bates Wells said:

“Today’s review proposes that charities may form part of a future solution to the damaging decline of local and high-quality journalism. If this type of radical action is not taken, and swiftly, a significant part of the UK media will not survive the next decade. The greatest losers will be local communities. The greatest winners will be those in power, who will escape the transparency and the holding to account that journalism brings.

“Allowing some types of press organisation to register as charities would mean they could benefit from tax reliefs, and would encourage donations ranging from small individual sums through to large gifts from philanthropists.

“Without intervention of this kind the financial security of the press will remain precarious. Widening access to charitable status could be a major help in the important fight to save struggling press organisations up and down the country”.

If you would like to interview Lawrie, or would like to receive further written comment, please contact Sam Hunter, Senior Press Officer at Bates Wells, on +44 (0)20 7551 7906

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of February 12, 2019.