Lobby FAQs

By Media Reform Coalition / Friday November 23, 2012 Read More
In October, the Media Reform Coalition, Avaaz and the NUJ joined forces to plan a lobby of Parliament on media reform. After months of waiting, Leveson has finally announced when he’ll be releasing his report – and he’s chosen 1.30pm on Thursday Nov 29th, the exact moment we’ve been planning to lobby our MPs.  Our lobby is going ahead – if you want to join us, just use our simple form to EMAIL YOUR MP asking them to meet you on the day. Below are some FAQs about the lobby, or do email us at lobby@mediareform.org.uk if you have any further questions. What is a lobby? There are lots of ways to let your MP know that you care about an issue, but the most powerful is to arrange a face-to-face meeting. You can lobby your MP in your home constituency, or you can arrange to meet with them in Parliament. When lots of people meet their MPs in Parliament on the same day to talk about the same issue, you can get a real buzz going around Westminster – and that’s what we’re aiming for on November 29th. Why lobby about media reform? We know that powerful media organisations are already putting pressure on our politicians to maintain the status quo – and we know that one of the main arguments they’re using is that “nobody cares about this issue anymore”. It’s up to us as voters to counteract that pressure, to show politicians that the public anger that led to the Leveson Inquiry hasn’t gone away, and to remind them that they’re accountable to us, not newspapers. Who can take part? If you’re eligible to vote in national elections, you can lobby your MP, even if you aren’t currently registered at your address. You can only lobby your own MP. If you’re not sure who your MP is, just enter your postcode here. If you’re a UK student you are usually eligible to vote both in your home constituency and at your university address. If you’re not sure which of your MPs to lobby, you can either email both your postcodes to us at lobby@mediareform.org.uk and we’ll work out which it would be best for you to contact, or you can make an educated guess. (Roughly speaking, we want to lobby as many Conservative MPs and MPs outside of London as possible.) Do I need to be an expert? No, all you need is a genuine desire to see our media cleaned up for good. The best lobbies are ones where there is a real cross-section of society, so we hope to involve a mixture of academics, journalists, students, and concerned members of the public. We will send you information before the lobby, and you’ll be thoroughly briefed on the day. What are your demands? We will be presenting the following demands to MPs: 1. Effective press regulation, backed by law, which is independent of both media owners and government and which gives ordinary people protection and redress. 2. The promotion of a plurality of voices by placing limits on media ownership, with Parliament laying down thresholds so that no single person or company owns an excessive share of the media 3. A conscience clause for journalists, who should be able to refuse to write stories that distort the truth or unnecessarily invade privacy, accompanied by a strong public interest defense so that justified investigations of wrong-doing are protected by law. While these are the central demands of our campaign, you can of course raise other media reform issues that you feel strongly about. What do I do now? Email your MP using our simple form. If you have any questions not covered here, just email lobby@mediareform.org.uk.