How can we make sure that different viewpoints and voices are heard in the media on all manner of subjects? That is the question at the heart of the House of Lords Communications Committee’s new inquiry into plurality in the media.
Committee Chairman, Lord Inglewood, said:
“The importance of media plurality cannot be underestimated. It is fundamental to a democratic, informed society that citizens can access and consume a wide range of viewpoints; and that no single set of views or individuals wield too much influence over the news agenda or hold sway over our political process.
“However, long-standing concerns about media plurality have been highlighted recently both by Ofcom and Lord Justice Leveson. These, along with new threats created by convergence and changes to the way different media have blended together mean there is an increasingly urgent need for Parliament to consider carefully the policy and regulatory framework surrounding media plurality.
“We look forward to a wide-ranging, informed and thought-provoking inquiry and would encourage anyone with relevant expertise and experience in these issues to submit evidence for us to consider.”
Issues the Committee will be considering as part of its inquiry include:
- the scope of media plurality policy;
- what the appropriate triggers are for a review, or whether they should be carried out periodically;
- who should ultimately hold the power to intervene in any dispute; and
- what remedies would be suitable measures of control, particularly in the ever-changing landscape of media convergence.
The deadline for submitting written evidence is Wednesday 1 May 2013.