Media Plurality….BBC to be reined in?



Harriet Harman suggested a cap on ownership of  the media but wanted to exclude the BBC from such considerations:

No, the BBC is not included…there is all the difference in the world between a privately owned broadcaster and a public broadcaster which has its own mechanisms for accountability [ha ha] and no I don’t include it as a monopoly…it’s not a private monopoly.

I put it on one side….the standards the BBC offers are offers a gold standard for other broadcasters…the role of the BBC is absolutely essential…there is no need for protection from the BBC, far from it, we need to strengthen the BBC.


The government may though include the BBC:

The BBC could be included in any potential move to limit media ownership, the Government will announce today.

Culture Secretary Maria Miller will launch a consultation on rules governing media plurality, asking for the first time whether the state broadcaster should be covered.

If the BBC was included in rules designed to prevent any one media organisation becoming too powerful, it could be forced to rein in its dominant news website.


The BBC said:

In its own submissions to Ofcom’s review of media ownership and plurality, the BBC argued that it should be excluded from calculations because of its public service role.


The DCMS said:

It also makes sense that when you are trying to ensure that a particular viewpoint does not dominate the media that you ask whether the BBC should be included.’

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43 Responses to Media Plurality….BBC to be reined in?

  1. Umbongo says:

    I’m very happy for the BBC to continue its “public service” role as long as that role is restricted to relaying static information advertisements from Whitehall – preferably with the test-card as a background. That should cost about £10 million/year and we could all ignore it to our greater peace of mind. Of course, the cost would be 10% of that in the real world of the private sector but you’d have drones like Harman sitting on expense-consuming committees providing “advice” etc concerning, for instance, the state-approved printing font to be used in designing the ads.


  2. chrisH says:

    Just the latest random example of Beeb groupthink.
    The 11am news on Radio 4 tells me that the ONS survey on “happiness” in the population shows that most people rate themselves as being 70% contented.
    “It is thought that factors like the Olympics and Royal events of last year are responsible for this”…or words to that effect followed.
    WHAT?…”it is thought”…by who?…or was it merely drummed up by her editor, and allowed to pass unchallenged as “opinion”.
    Typical BBC slime on an already flimsy bit of voxpox…yet it sets a tone doesn`t it?
    One offs, wrong kind of growth and all that as passed byBBC “opinion formers”.
    Fatuous crap-yet it`s there on the 11am news as if it`s fact.
    No wonder Harman begs that the BBC stay in place….Labours easy ally, and about the only one they can rely on.


  3. George R says:

    The BBC-NUJ ‘News-site’ should be ‘reined in,’ given its dominant monopolistic position and political power.

    The BBC-NUJ makes a big political song-and-dance about demanding restrictions to the freedom of the print media, but is self-interestedly quiet about its own massive broadcasting power on TV and radio and net, -locally, nationally and globally.

    The Beeboid global broadcasting empire is:-

    too big, too biased, too unaccountable, and too expensive.


  4. Ralph says:

    It does amaze me that the likes of Harman, Watson, and Bryant can get away with what is so clearly an inept party political vendetta against one media company and not be laughed at.


  5. George R says:

    “Government plans to include BBC in media plurality consultation”


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Before any defender of the indefensible starts whining about the horrors of the Murdoch press, let’s all remember that nasty Uncle Rupert never did anything like this:

    NBC Exec Behind Hillary Series Put “Historically Questionable” anti-Reagan Film On Air in 2003

    Yesterday, CNN announced it was joining the parade of film projects on Hillary Clinton in the run-up to her likely campaign for president in 2016. It will produce a feature-length documentary, directed by liberal filmmaker Charles Ferguson, for release in theaters and then later show it on the network.

    It joins two other projects on Hillary that have been announced recently: a theatrical film called Rodham about Hillary’s days as a young lawyer on the Nixon House impeachment committee and a four-hour mini-series on Hillary starring Diane Lane that will appear on NBC. Politico reported that the sudden pile-on to produce Hillary projects even prompted a source close to Clinton to accuse CNN of focusing on Hillary to simply turn a fast buck. “I don’t know if I’m appalled or impressed,” the source told Politico. “Either way, they have some explaining to do on how they’re going to manage the conflict between news standards and the profit imperative. I’m not sure they know.”

    It’s the Left-wing media working to elect a politician, not the evil Right. Of course, some of this is probably just their way of making it up to Hillary after jilting her for The Obamessiah back in 2008.

    In this way, the BBC isn’t any more editorially independent than NBC or CNN. Commercial sponsors didn’t direct this to happen: partisan media luvvies did. Just like at the BBC, which has infinitely more public and cultural influence on the public than NBC or CNN could ever hope to have.


    • Umbongo says:

      My problem with that would be marginally assuaged were I convinced (which I’m not) that the lefties would accept quietly that Fox, say, has the same right – if it wanted to – to produce and air a feature-length item of propaganda bigging up (and . . er . . lying about) whoever could be considered a right-wing candidate for the presidency.
      However, that’s the US. At least the major free-to-air networks are using their own income earned from screening commercial advertising (freely paid for by the advertisers concerned) to hawk their political beliefs. I don’t know what controls (if any), statutory or otherwise, are in place to enforce impartiality on all or part of their output but I do know that many US TV and radio stations broadcast editorial – which is described as such – so you are made aware of the station’s political standpoint.
      Here meanwhile the BBC, which refuses to touch the pitch of honestly editorialising, unashamedly conflates editorial and reportage while acting as the mouthpiece of the metro-left. Further, the BBC does not deny – indeed, revels in the fact – that its income is coerced from the viewer/listener courtesy of the power of the state. The BBC goes on to claim that because it is statutorily required as a quid pro quo of that coercion to be impartial that it is unquestionably unbiased in practice. Unfortunately, the policing of that impartiality is left to the representatives of the political class (through the aegis of a cabal with the incredible double-think descriptor of “BBC Trust“) which class is the prime beneficiary of the BBC’s bias.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Editorial independence is not the same thing as impartial. The ideal of impartiality and balance is a chimera. It cannot really exist, especially at a BBC with a seemingly endless amount of titled editors and opinion-mongers and “analysis”. As you say, they conflate editorial with reportage. Routinely, in my view, as that seems to be the job description for the titled editors.

        NBC and CNN are as editorially independent as the BBC. And on the same side of the political spectrum.


  7. Jackde says:

    If the Post Office can be privatised why not the BBC?…
    There again could the UK afford such a move as we might find that redundancy payments to BBC employee’s could adversely effect the National debt?


    • Ian Hills says:

      A clause in the privatisation bills for the PO and BBC could savagely cap pension and redundancy packages – backdated for, oh, about 20 years….


  8. stuart says:

    i think that everybody should have a opt out button excluding all bbc channels on freeview or cable so they dont have to pay for that damm tv licence,i never watch the bbc and if i did i could go on bbciplayer after the programme has finished and watch it for free without having to purchase a tv licence.


  9. Guest Who says:

    ‘BBC argued that it should be excluded from calculations because of its public service role.’
    I would be keen to see that expanded upon in some detail, as delivery to remit, or not, rather goes to the core of the matter.
    Having a role in itself, especially one not defined, is pretty irrelevant.
    However, accepting a presumption the role is meant to be positive, screwing up by accident or messing with it by design as often and as badly as the BBC manages, daily, would make its inclusion in any ‘calculations’ mandatory for a failing public sector delivery system.


  10. George R says:


    “BBC media dominance may be curbed in government review.”


  11. Stewart says:

    Genuine Media Plurality looks like this


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