ITN’s chief executive Rachel Corp discussed the future of the production company, which makes news programmes for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, while delivering the keynote speech at the Press Gazette’s Future Of Media Conference on Wednesday.
“Fact-checked journalism has never been more important in a healthy democracy, but it comes at a cost”
ITN CEO Rachel Corp calls for protection of the PSB model & warns that to protect the future of journalism, news publishers must get fair value.
Read > https://t.co/TpJXMrTWgc pic.twitter.com/yjDj65xcvt
— ITN (@itn) September 21, 2022
Ms Corp spoke about the need to “level up the relationship” between online platforms including social media and publishers of content, suggesting an Australian-style bargaining code could be effective.
She said: “In the meantime, we are hugely encouraged by what will be an industry-first with ITV’s investment in PSB (public service broadcasting) news via its ITVX streaming service.
“This new platform will see content made by the ITV News team feature prominently – bespoke up-to-date video on demand, as opposed to rolling news, so that viewers won’t need to jump around multiple platforms and will be able to access their trusted news presented by our familiar on-air team, all on one place, whatever time they want it.”
Ms Corp added that US streaming networks like Peacock have already shown this to be a “valued add-on to their drama, comedy and documentary output”.
ITVX will be an advertiser-funded, free-to-watch streaming service, which will have the option of a subscription tier for ad-free viewing.
It’s only by taking action now that we can we ensure quality, regulated, trusted journalism into the future
ITN chief executive officer Rachel Corp
The ITN boss also reflected on how news outlets and broadcasters reported the Queen’s death, saying: “I feel news organisations struck the right chord.
“We provided depth and context, awe and spectacle, warmth and community. We intuitively knew when to add value with context and commentary.
“But we bravely knew when the stunning cinematography could speak for itself while we held a very long, very powerful, silence.”
She said this historic period was the “most powerful reminder… of the power of British public service television” but added that the media faces looming questions on how can it adapt, maintain loyalty and reach a new generation.
“For growth and survival, we also need the support of media-savvy politicians to protect the best of British news and public service television”, Ms Corp added.
“We take it upon ourselves to produce news content to the same standard online as on our TV bulletins, despite no regulatory requirement to do so.
“We never take trust for granted, it underpins everything we do – and therefore we choose to comply and use the same editorial standards as we do for TV wherever you consume our news.
“However, we do support more stringent measures across the board, helping tackle everything from disinformation to online safety for children.”
She continued: “It’s only by taking action now that we can we ensure quality, regulated, trusted journalism into the future.
“With the onset of winter and the cost-of-living crisis, public service journalism will continue to be vital. Let’s make it count.”