Media plurality : 1st report of session 2013-14
A new framework for regulating the ownership of media enterprises engaged in news and current affairs should be introduced, with the media regulator, Ofcom, taking a leading role in deciding whether specific media transactions can go ahead, says the House of Lords Communications Committee in this new report on media plurality. Ofcom should conduct periodic plurality reviews, providing an assessment of the sufficiency of plurality at the time. The Secretary of State should have a role in giving political authority to the conclusions of these reviews and as such they can be seen to offer a way of providing clear guidance and clarity to media enterprises about the prospects for consolidation in the interval between these reviews. Between periodic reviews, there should be a crystal clear distinction between competition and plurality policy, with transactions assessed on both grounds where relevant in a way which keeps competition and plurality considerations apart. Responsibility for reconciling plurality and competition assessments of transactions and for reaching a final decision should then rest with the Ofcom board, not the Secretary of State.While interventions in the interest of plurality should, generally speaking, only be imposed in connection with specific transactions, there must also be provision for intervening at the time of a periodic review if organic market change has caused immediate and pressing concerns. However there must be a high bar to intervention at the time of a periodic review. The Committee makes a number of other recommendations concerning the BBC.
- Paperback | 82 pages
- 04 Feb 2014
- London, United Kingdom