Wednesday 13 July 2011

MP calls for clear limits on media ownership...

Lobbydog chatted with Graham Allen MP a few moments ago to get a bit of background on his amendment to today’s Opposition motion on News Corporation’s takeover of BSkyB. The amendment seeks a broader effort to address media ownership. Here is what he said…

“I think it’s important to go a step further on this issue as there is already Government and Opposition support for the motion specifically dealing with BSkyB.

“The things that are happening now are a symptom, but what is the underlying issue?

“The UK papers and media are in very few hands and that’s why the people that own them have enormous power and that’s what needs to be addressed.

“The amendment is putting a mark down asking that we look at the serious underlying causes, of diversity and plurality in ownership, and consider proper regulation.

“There should be clear limits agreed with the existing owners on the number of newspapers or media outlets they own.”

Labour Uncut’s Dan Hodges correctly commented yesterday that Ed Miliband’s decision to negotiate with Cameron on the main motion today had shown he understood when to “take the win”.

Given that is the case I don’t see this amendment going through today, but – in the same way that political and constitutional reform became significant after expenses – the ownership issue is live and will be the next thing on the agenda.

1 comment:

Trevor said...

Diversity and plurality of ownership is all well and good so long as it brings a diverse and plural set of views. Our representatives don't actually want that. They want a comforting centre lefty Statist view on all channels and all papers.

Will this also apply to the BBC? Cut that down to size too please. It seems to be a glaring blind spot in the current kerfuffle over media influence.

Or better yet deal with the perceived power of howlin mad Murdoch by loosening the BBC from it's charter obligations - privatise it, mutualise it, let it take advertising or something.

Murdoch's power is only what politicians have granted him by being craven to his business in return for good pr. Labour was intimately joined to Murdoch for more than a decade. Let us not forget Alistair Campbell's news grid.

Murdoch doesn't represent anyone but himself. His media organs are not a guaranteed way to influence the public. Far more people don't read his papers than do - and telly coverage ain't magic either. If it were then Dave would have walked the election and Gordon would have been given a thumping but it didn't happen.

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