The global climate for journalism is challenging, if not outright hostile in some places, with little apparent signs of improvement any time soon. This year’s Reuters Institute Digital News Report (Newman et al. 2021) showed rising rates of concern about the quality of the information environment in many countries. On average, across the 46 markets covered in this year’s report, nearly six in ten said they were concerned about differentiating between what is real and what is fake on the internet. Some blame digital platforms for allowing discredited rumours to reverberate widely, sowing seeds of doubt about all information online, and see conventional newsgathering as a crucial remedy to this growing uncertainty. However, much of the public see news organisations themselves, rightly or wrongly, as part of the problem rather than the solution (Livio and Cohen 2016; Palmer et al. 2020; Riedl and Eberl 2020). More widely, prior research shows low and declining rates of trust in news in many places around the world (Fletcher 2020; Jones 2018; Hanitzsch et al. 2018).