Why the Leveson Inquiry must be allowed to finish its work – Justin Schlosberg

18 10 2017

Last week Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers (NGN) admitted “vicarious liability” in illegal hacking that went far beyond mere interception of voicemails. The court was told about a spyware programme could Eblaster which was used by private investigators to comprehensively spy on a former army intelligence officer and pass details on to NGN. Read the rest of this entry »





Murdoch’s access to British prime minister shows media power still in hands of the few – Des Freedman and Justin Schlosberg

8 02 2017

In 1996, when the web was in its infancy, the American technology writer Nicholas Negroponte predicted that the coming digital revolution would facilitate a “cottage industry of information and entertainment providers”. Read the rest of this entry »





Tightening the Grip: Why the web is no haven of media plurality – Justin Schlosberg

6 03 2016

Plurality2A digital market research company recently reported that “the top 10 publishers make up a huge chunk of the U.K. media market and own more than half of the entire industry”. The statement was based on data that SimilarWeb collected over 2015, specifically the number of page visits to the top 300 news websites. They found that 65 percent of this traffic was concentrated in the websites of the top 10 news publishers, and the top five alone attracted more than half of all traffic across the sample. Read the rest of this entry »





Two years after the Leveson Inquiry, why are the UK government’s dealings with the media still shrouded in secrecy? – Justin Schlosberg

17 10 2014

David Cameron at Leveson inquirtyIn 2011, as the phone-hacking scandal unfolded, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged a new era of transparency in the government’s dealings with the media. All meetings between senior government and media figures were to be recorded and published on a quarterly basis and a major public inquiry was launched – partly with a focus on the relationship between press and politicians. Read the rest of this entry »





Why Rupert Murdoch’s plan to rule the media world still needs newspapers more than TV – Justin Schlosberg

2 08 2014

rupert-murdochRupert Murdoch’s latest bid for empire expansion has fallen on deaf ears. His offer to buy Time Warner for US$80 billion was resoundingly rejected by the owners of CNN, HBO and Warner Brothers. But despite the setback, Murdoch’s apparent willingness to sell off CNN to satisfy regulators (should a bid be accepted by Time Warner) reveals something significant about how he values news assets. Read the rest of this entry »





Media Plurality: The Devil in the Detail: Media ownership limits and unaccountable power – Justin Schlosberg

21 12 2013

Justin SchlosbergOne of the great paradoxes of media reform debates is that the biggest cheerleaders for government control over media regulation are none other than the private media themselves. The war over rival charters for press regulation earlier this year was waged on a number of fronts, but it pivoted on the question of whether power to change the charter should reside with ministers, or parliament. Read the rest of this entry »





Media Plurality: Why media ownership limits are practical, beneficial and essential to restore democratic integrity – Justin Schlosberg

15 12 2013

Justin SchlosbergIn response to my brief on media ownership limits, Rob Kenny helpfully moves the discussion forward by questioning some of the claims and detail in that brief. Before offering my response in kind, it is important to make clear Rob’s interest as a member of the Communications Chambers, which includes News Corporation among their list of clients, particularly as much of his arguments are made with a focus on Rupert Murdoch’s news assets. Read the rest of this entry »





Media Plurality: New Research Models Proposed Ownership Limits – Justin Schlosberg

10 12 2013

Justin SchlosbergBased on his latest research that examined civil society proposals for media plurality measures and models their suggested ownership limits against current market conditions, Justin Schlosberg of Birkbeck, University of London argues that such limits and thresholds could limit media power with minimal impact on the market.  Read the rest of this entry »





Journalists in the Dock: A new low for British justice, accountability and democracy – Justin Schlosberg

5 12 2013

Rusbridger Home AffairsThis week, the chairman of the home affairs select committee, Keith Vaz, asked the editor of the Guardian newspaper, Alan Rusbridger, whether he loves this country. This question was significant not just because of the immediate context in which it was posed (the Guardian’s revelations of mass surveillance by security services). It was significant because it revealed just how deeply the discourse of the right-wing media can seep into the consciousness of politicians. Read the rest of this entry »





Double standards? Why unsupported claims of ‘threats to national security’ are the real threats to press freedom – Justin Schlosberg

1 11 2013

Liam FoxMPs recently announced plans to formally inquire into the Guardian’s coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks, prompted by a letter from former Defence Secretary Liam Fox. The letter accuses the Guardian of double standards in its coverage of the leaks, given its role in exposing the phone hacking scandal, and reiterates claims that the leaks have damaged national security. Read the rest of this entry »