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Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on the media. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

04.11.2016Press regulation after Leveson - unfinished business?
Part 1 of the Leveson Inquiry into the press reported in 2012. Part 2, which has a wider remit, has yet to begin. What is the state of play on press regulation and what changes have been made to the law?
26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
12.08.2016Adult magazines in shops
This House of Commons Library briefing paper summarises what guidelines say about the display of adult magazines in shops.
17.03.2016Access to journalists' sources
Under what circumstances should the police be able to access journalists' confidential sources? This paper looks at the existing law, how it has been applied and proposals to reform it.
18.09.2015Confidentiality and openness in the family courts: current rules and history of their reform
This briefing paper considers transparency in the family courts, including communication of information and media attendance, and background on recent changes in this area.
19.05.2015Key Issues for the 2015 Parliament
This book examines the key issues facing the House of Commons over the course of the 2015 Parliament - from the public finances to the UK's membership of the EU and from school places for children to climate change.
27.03.2014The Leveson Report: implementation
This note provides pointers to the developments since publication of the report. It does not attempt to summarise the complex arguments involved or differences between the various proposals for draft legislation that have been brought forward.
26.06.2012Phone hacking - Inquiries and reports
This note provides brief details about the ongoing inquiries and investigations associated with phone hacking and the various reports produced. It also gives details of the legislation regarding relevant offences and provides links to timelines of events.
20.06.2012Press regulation: international comparisons
This Note provides a brief overview of systems of press regulation in a number of foreign countries. Where possible, it details the sanctions available to the regulator in the event that a newspaper breaches a voluntary or statutory code of industry practice. If there is an established mechanism for the arbitration of press complaints, this is noted.
20.06.2012Press regulation - the debate
Following the discovery of widespread 'phone-hacking' by journalists at The News of the World and other British newspapers, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, established in July 2011 a multi-part inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. Lord Justice Leveson was appointed as Chairman of the Inquiry. The first part (or 'module'), which concluded its public hearings on 9 February 2012, concentrated on the relationship between the press and the public. Much of the material quoted in this Library Note comes from the evidence presented to this module (the first of four), but the Note will be updated periodically to take account of evidence presented at later modules.

Lords Library Notes

27.06.2016Historical Child Sex Abuse Investigations
A number of investigations into historical child sex abuse in the UK have been launched by the police and public institutions in recent years. This follows allegations that claims of child sex abuse made against public figures had not been properly investigated in the past. This briefing focuses on the existing guidance for conducting these investigations and provides background information on recent investigations that have taken place. It has been written in preparation for a debate that is due to take place in the House of Lords on 30 June 2016 on the case for introducing statutory guidelines relating to the investigation of cases of historical child sex abuse.
12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 1: Business, Culture, Education, Health and Welfare
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
30.10.2015Impact of Pornography on Society
This Library Note has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 5 November 2015 on the impact of pornography on society. This Note provides information on the definition of pornography and the current law on pornography. It also gives reference to recent evidence and a selection of key issues that have been raised in relation to the impact of pornography on both children and adults.
03.09.2015BBC: Future Financing and Independence
This Library Note sets out background information about the BBC's purpose, funding and independence and explains the Royal Charter renewal process. It then provides an overview of the green paper's four themes and highlights the views on these of the BBC Trust and, where relevant, those expressed by parliamentary committees.


19.10.2015Trends in ICT
This note looks at developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and their relevance for UK policy in the next five years. It examines the capability, use and economic impact of ICT; technical barriers; and implications for cybersecurity, privacy and internet governance.
29.05.2015UK Broadband Infrastructure
The growing use of smart phones and data intensive services (such as video streaming), has increased demand for both fixed and mobile internet. This POSTnote looks at patterns in broadband access and use, and the technical and policy challenges of enhancing UK broadband infrastructure to meet future needs.
05.03.2014Social Media and Big Data
This POSTnote examines the application of 'big data' approaches to social media in three key areas: elections and polling, commercial applications and security. It also covers the regulation of social media data and public concerns around privacy.
01.07.2007Radio spectrum management, July 2007
Radio spectrum management, July 2007. POSTnote 07/292.
01.06.2006Analogue to digital TV switchover, June 2006
Analogue to digital TV switchover, June 2006. POSTnote 06/264.

Select Committee Reports

02.02.2012The future of investigative journalism.
Communications Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
15.09.2011Unauthorised tapping into or hacking of mobile communications.
Government response. Home Office report [Commons]
17.03.2011Channel 4 annual report and accounts 2009-10.
Government response. Culture Media and Sport Select Committee report [Commons]
07.12.2010Channel 4 annual report and accounts 2009-10.
Culture Media and Sport Select Committee report [Commons]
22.06.2010Future for local and regional media.
Government response. Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Culture Media and Sport Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House condemns the proposed 75 job losses at Trinity Mirror's national newspaper titles, the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People; notes that these cuts come at a time ...
That this House is concerned about the ongoing threats to, and arrests and killing of journalists in Somalia; condemns the mass arrest of journalists without charge in Somaliland; believes ...
That this House is shockedat the announcement by Media Wales that it is to cut 22 jobs across its publications in Wales; notes that the proposals by Media Wales management would see ...
That this House condemns the sacking of over 200 journalists and staff at the News of the World (NotW); supports the National Union of Journalists inits campaign to help journalists ...
That this House is concerned about the spreading evidence for, and the extent of, unauthorised access, organised or freelance, to voicemail and other methods of privacy intrusion; asks ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses