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Ofcom Jeremy Hunt

Ofcom invites comments as review of plurality in UK media launches

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

October 21, 2011 | 2 min read

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked Ofcom to look at how media plurality should be measured, following the failed BSkyB takeover by News Corp.

The body is now accepting written submissions until 18 November 2011.

Hunt said in a letter to Ofcom’s chief executive: “We have discussed my request that Ofcom should undertake some work into the feasibility of measuring media plurality across platforms, and recommend the best approach. This would build on the good work you have already undertaken as part of your analysis of the proposed Sky/News Corp merger and would look at which platforms should be included (for example, websites) and consider the best way to take account of the BBC’s position in the market. In addition, I would be grateful if you could also consider how practical it is to set limits which would protect plurality without unnecessarily restricting growth or producing perverse incentives.”

The questions which comments are invited on include:

What are the options for measuring media plurality across platforms? What do you recommend is the best approach?;

Is it practical or advisable to set absolute limits on news market share?;

What could trigger a review of plurality in the absence of a merger, how might this be monitored and by whom?;

Could or should a framework for measuring levels of plurality include websites and if so which ones?;

Whether or how it should include the BBC.

Ofcom Jeremy Hunt

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