Wednesday, 30 May 2012
A Free Press?
It is extraordinary that we purport to have a free press when four out of five newspapers sold are part of an off-the-books campaigning arm of one of the political parties.
That they are a cartel has been exposed by the way in which the rest of them have rallied round their supposed competitors, as exemplified by several pieces in response to Michael Gove's appearance before the Leveson Inquiry.
Two loss-making newspapers exist only because the rules were bent double so that Rupert Murdoch could buy them in order, to his credit, to fund them out of his profitable interests. So they ought to be required to maintain balance.
The publications granted parliamentary lobby access should be required to be balanced among themselves, even if not necessarily within themselves.
Broadcasters having such access should be required to give regular airtime to all newspapers enjoying the same access.