News Corporation and the UK media

15 July 2011

The House of Lords debated the recent allegations about the conduct of the news media and police, and the position of News Corporation within UK media provision this afternoon (Friday 14 July).

Issues discussed during the debate included:

  • Rebekah Brooks' resignation
  • the Metropolitan Police's previous investigations into the allegations of phone hacking
  • the consideration of News Corporation's bid to take over BSkyB
  • the contact and relationships between politicians and the UK press
  • media owernship, including cross media ownership, and concentration in the UK
  • recent financial and political crises in the UK, alongside this 'media crisis'
  • the structure of the Press Complaints Commission
  • regulation models and standards for print media
  • privacy and the implications of introducing a law of privacy in the UK
  • the changing characteristics of political journalism.

Lord Fowler, former chairman of the Lords Communications Committee and former journalist, opened the debate. 

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon responded to on behalf of the Opposition.

Members of the Lords who contributed to the debate included (use links to watch/listen to their contributions):

  • Former Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Prescott
  • Lord Imbert, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (1987-93)
  • Lord Birt, former director general of the BBC (1992-2000)
  • Lord Grade of Yarmouth, former chief executive, Channel Four (1988-97) and a former director of ITN (1989-93) 
  • Baroness Wheatcroft, journalist and former editor of ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ (2006-07).

Other speakers included, Lord Myners, former chairman of the Guardian; Lord Stoneham of Droxford, former production controller at News International; Baroness Kramer; barrister, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws; philosopher, Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve; and Lord Soley, who introduced a Bill on the freedom and responsibility of the press in 1993.

Baroness Garden of Frognal responded to the debate on behalf of the Government.

Further information

The House of Lords responded to the Government statement on phone hacking and the media on Monday 11 July.

Baroness Rawlings, Government spokesperson for culture, answered a Private Notice Question on Friday 8 July about the consideration of News Corporation’s bid to take over BSkyB.

Image: Press Association

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