I am interested in Mr Miliband’s radical idea that we might need tighter rules on media ownership and market shares. It will be interesting to see how he defines unacceptable levels of control, as it appears that the BBC has the largest share of the TV and radio market, and also has a very powerful position in web provision and related publishing. Rules that he thinks of in connection with News International could not be hyrbid or company specific, and would have to be fair about any concentration of media power. Thoughts on what constitutes too much media power and if it should be regulated better would be welcome.
I will not be commenting on the hacking and bribery issues for two reasons. One, because the interesting questions relate to individuals who deserve a fair trial if allegations are followed by evidence. Their conduct is the subject of a police investigation which should not be prejudiced. Two, because we are getting saturation coverage of it in much of the media, in a way which is drowning out many stories and issues which will have more impact on everyone else’s life. Please do not send in comments naming individuals that could be the subject of court cases.
The truth is both main political parties were keen to meet and socialise with News International senior personnel and journalists before this drama broke. Both main parties hired people from the News International stable as press advisers. Both parties wanted the endorsement of News International papers at election times. Doubtless both main parties will want friendly coverage from papers in the future, once all these current allegations have been refuted or have resulted in trials and punishments.