New Book: “Big Media and Internet Titans: Media Ownership – the Democratic Challenge” edited by Granville Williams

6 06 2014

bigmediacoverThe central argument in a new book, Big Media and Internet Titans is that media pluralism must be put back on the political agenda.  The book has been published by the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom.

“We identify key policy issues,” said the book’s editor, Granville Williams, “and argue that  governments need to recognise that unless there are clear rules and limits on media ownership, democracy suffers. The Leveson Inquiry demonstrated this unequivocally.” Read the rest of this entry »





Murdoch Buying up Murdoch – Nothing to Worry About? – Des Freedman

17 05 2014

skyitaliaPay-TV operator BSkyB has confirmed its intention to buy the share that Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox owns in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. Des Freedman of Goldsmiths, University of London argues that these moves to consolidate a “European” Sky might not be raising alarms at the national level, but merits intervention from European competition authorities. Read the rest of this entry »





Event: Media Power and Plurality conference, 2 May 2014

2 04 2014

insetPolicymakers throughout the world recognise the need to protect a diversity of voices and views in a democracy, but what does media plurality require in practice? How do you legislate to prevent undue concentration of media power? What interventions are needed to help new players flourish? How do you reconcile sustainable media businesses and a sufficiency of voices? How should policy approaches differ at national, regional and local level? Read the rest of this entry »





Plurality Begins at Home: Policies for Invigorating Local Media – Steve Barnett

28 02 2014

Mock-up-of-a-local-paper-002While much of the headline debate on plurality tends to revolve around undue concentration at the national level – how to define it, how to measure it, how to prevent it – a growing local problem risks being ignored. Read the rest of this entry »





Lords’ Media Plurality Report is Potential Road Map – Rachael Craufurd Smith

7 02 2014

MediaThe House of Lords Select Committee on Communications’ Report Media Plurality puts forward an innovative, multi-faceted approach to tackling excessive concentrations of media ownership in the UK.  Read the rest of this entry »





Four more years to wait for media plurality – Des Freedman

5 02 2014

Des FreedmanThe House of Lords Communications Committee has just published  its report into media plurality and few media moguls will be losing much sleep tonight. In its 82 pages, the Committee describes the issue very well – in terms of the need both to provide citizens with a proper range of information and to break up undue concentrations of power – but steps back from taking immediate or decisive action. Read the rest of this entry »





Lords Communications Committee report on Media Plurality: two cheers – Steven Barnett

4 02 2014

HL Communications CommitteeThere are two ways of looking at the House of Lords select committee’s report on Media Plurality, published today. The less charitable view is that it has ducked the crucial issue of how Parliament should lay down clear, unambiguous guidelines to prevent undue concentrations of media power. Read the rest of this entry »





Murdoch and Media Power: Déjà Vu All Over Again? – Steven Barnett

2 02 2014

Sky_Believe_in_better_logoThis week saw the announcement of half-year results from BSkyB. There was a slight dent in its relentless profitability following recent competition from BT for Premier League rights, but very little deviation from the last full-year results: annual revenues of £7.2 billion with an annual operating profit of £1.3 billion. One and a third billion is an awful lot of spare cash to be generating each year. 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 »