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Friday, 14 June 2013

Harriet Harman has got it right, I suppose it had to happen eventually!

Yesterday The Guardian reported that:
'Harriet Harman: time to consider media ownership cap as low as 15% 
Shadow culture secretary to say that plurality ensures no private interest can set itself above public interest'
Apparently:
'A media ownership cap as low as 15% across newspapers, broadcasting companies and online sites must be considered to stop companies feeling they are "above the rule of law", according to Harriet Harman.

...

The Labour frontbencher will call on her Tory counterpart Maria Miller to set up crossparty talks to help push reforms through.

Labour last year proposed a possible 30% limit on ownership within the newspaper industry but suggests that could sit alongside a 15% cap across the media as whole, including "any medium of communication that stands between a creator of content and an audience".'
The most fascinating sentence in the whole report was this one:
'News International held 37% of the newspaper market until the closure of the News of the World.'
Now can you think of a media organisation that holds an even larger market share in the area of reporting the news?

Guido Fawkes  has today this useful graphic to illustrate the BBC's dominance in news dissemination:


But two years ago Conservative Home produced a more in depth report that included these eye-opening graphs based on OfCom figures:

First one that shows where people get their news from

This shows that television accounts for 73% of peoples' news. The internet, TV and radio are nearly equal in importance but all a poor second place and with the internet eating into newspapers at an accelerating rate...

Now a graph that shows how the BBC dominates the TV news sector. Its share of TV news is more than ten times as big as Sky News.


And finally the share of internet news:

This chart shows that BBC websites have ten times as much market share as Sky. When it comes to the overt opinion-based news websites News Corporation has less market share than The Guardian or the Daily Mail.

Taken together these graphs show that there is indeed a dominant player in the UK news market but that it's not News International, it's the BBC.
More importantly the fact that the BBC is clearly not an unbiased voice on so many subjects, including  immigration, Israel, Islamic terrorism, the EU, US politics, British politics and climate change, means that the BBC is not some benign impartial force sitting above a partisan sector. 
The BBC dominates the news agenda like no other organisation and on many of these subjects its views are at variance with the rest of the British people who have little choice but to pay the licence fee. Nobody forces people to buy The Daily Mail or subscribe to Sky but if you have a TV and the ability to receive TV broadcasts in the UK you must have a TV licence.

So did Harriet Harman men to include the BBC in her 15%  media ownership cap and if not, why not? Maybe because the BBC is in tune with Harriet Harman and Labour on so many issues and thus plays a large role in increasing the Labour vote.


UPDATE:
As of Friday evening I can find no mention on the BBC website of Harriet Harman's proposals. This is odd as the BBC are normally totally obsessed by media matters. Why on earth would they be ignoring this story? It's a total mystery!

1 comment:

Dailyhammer said...

You suckered me right in with the headline :) First reaction was WTF then I read the post and I totally agree but somehow I doubt its remit will cover the BBC.