Yes, this will be interesting

I am interested in Mr Miliband’s radical idea that we might need tighter rules on media ownership and market shares. It will be interesting to see how he defines unacceptable levels of control, as it appears  that the BBC has the largest share of the TV and radio market, and also has a very powerful position in web provision and related publishing. Rules that he thinks of in connection with News International could not be hyrbid or company specific, and would have to be fair about any concentration of media power. Thoughts on what constitutes too much media power and if it should be regulated better would be welcome.

What fair and impartial rules about media concentration could you have that did not limit the BBC?

If, just to pluck a figure from the air, 30% of the newspaper market is too much, why wouldn\’t 30% of the TV market be so?

Or 30% of the radio market?

If cross media ownership is to be limited, newspapers and broadcast licences cannot be combined, then why can radio and TV licences be combined?

9 thoughts on “Yes, this will be interesting”

  1. All they will do is exempt the BBC from it, eventually. After having been wined, dined and entertained at telly tax payer expense of course.

  2. Also, why is there only one Competition Commission?

    Same point more seriously – there is a difference in competition, both in obvious fact and in law, between an organisation that’s mandated by the Charter that allows its existence to serve the public interest, and a private company theoretically run in the interests of its shareholders (in News Corp and previously Hollinger’s cases, actually run in the interests of one minority shareholder, but that’s another story).

  3. Google’s news is non-editorial (it doesn’t write any news, nor does it employ any human editors), so your point doesn’t work.

  4. It’s editorial in the sense that the news selection algorithm is man-made. There’s certainly a lot of power in controlling what’s on that tab even if you don’t write or edit the content.

    Besides – I was just being facetious. The point is that free market monopolies have the consent of their consumers. Google is a classic example of that. If people don’t like the monopoly then they have a simple solution – stop using it. The same is true of a free press in a free market. Don’t like how a paper is run? Simple. Stop buying it.

  5. Offshore Observer

    What has the news international scandal got to do with media regulation. Essentially a bunch of hacks broke the law and should be investigated, charged, prosecuted and imprisoned. Surely that is regulation enought.

    Why the fuck do they need to create some form of statutory regulation of the media, what exactly is that going to achieve? Will it stop criminal behaviour? Doubt it?

    Will it be independent? What like the FSA was independent of government …. that turned out well didn’t it.

    This isn’t a problem of concentration of media ownership. Newcorp controls half of the Australian media and news and is far more concentrated than in the UK. the hacking didn’t happen there where the media is a cosy duopoly. So it can’t be concentration of power.

    There is also the case that for some reason UK people seem to like to know more about what footballer is cheating on his wife and whether or not people like to be spanked in the privacy of thier own home.

    sorry for the rant but I cannot see how the creation of another building full of “independent” regulators is going to help

  6. ” an organisation that’s mandated by the Charter that allows its existence to serve the public interest,”

    The Stasi served the public interest too. It’s how you define “the public interest” that is the problem, John.

  7. The discussion overlooks Rule 1, “If the Left are doing it, it can’t be wrong”. Hence, domination of news dissemination by the BBC is perfectly logical, reasonable, and benevolent. Domination by NI is chaotic and evil.

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