Today Media Reform is releasing a new briefing paper on what the Leveson Report recommends about media ownership and plurality. As the issue of ‘statutory underpinning’ heats up, it’s easy to neglect this key area of media policy. We believe that ownership of the media is a crucial part of ensuring a fair, free and independent press.
The Leveson Report shies away from explicitly proposing new rules for media ownership. But he does recommend a new system for measuring and tackling its concentration – and implicitly admits that the current system isn’t working. Now, our briefing aims to identify the key principles endorsed Leveson in light of the proposals we put forward to the Inquiry.
Unchecked media concentration over several decades has allowed some media groups to accumulate vast amounts of revenue and influence with adverse consequences for ethical journalism and democracy. One such consequence has been the development of intimate relationships between political and media elites in a way which, according to Lord Justice Leveson, “has not been in the public interest” (p.1956).