Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on bold new plans to break up big media groups

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is developing policies that will propose the break-up of some of the UK’s prominent media companies, according to reports, with the opposition leader preferring to promote co-operative media ownership instead.

Corbyn announced in a Morning Star interview that the party is exploring the break-up of some of the UK’s prominent media companies, with the policy proposals reflecting the Labour leader’s often torrid relationship with certain elements of the mainstream press.

Corbyn said the media attention his party has experienced has been “horrendous”, and he now wants to promote the benefits of local TV and newspapers over big media machines.

He cited Labour’s “different form of politics” as the main reason for the media unfairly targeting his leadership of the Labour party. An approach he has dubbed a “mass movement of ordinary people for the first time getting involved in politics.”

As well as proposing the breaking up of big media groups, Corbyn added that the party wanted to promote co-operative ownership models for the media.

“We are developing a media policy which would be about breaking up single ownership of too many sources of information, so that we have a multiplicity of sources,” he said.

“And actually promoting co-operative ownership and access, including local TV and radio stations and newspapers like the Morning Star.”

This is not new ground to the party; Corbyn’s predecessor Ed Miliband included in the last Labour manifesto a commitment to “protect media plurality”, and renovate guidelines for a modern media environment. By proposing to break up the largest media businesses in the UK, he takes the manifesto proposals a step further.

Corbyn’s proposals to break up big media companies, the Guardian notes that his words are likely to be interpreted as a challenge to News UK, the publisher of The Sun, and The Times which dominate the UK’s print newspaper market.

Earlier this week, the Independent Press Standards Organisation ordered The Sun to apologise for running a “significantly misleading” front page spread of the Labour leader that reported Corbyn “will kiss the Queen’s hand on bended knee in a humiliating personal climbdown”, and claimed he had become a privy counsellor so he can “grab £6.2m” of state cash.

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