Keep some restrictions on local media, says Ofcom

Cross-media ownership laws should not be completely relaxed, according to the broadcasting regulator Ofcom's response to a request from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Ofcom: advocates restrictions on local media ownership
Ofcom: advocates restrictions on local media ownership

In November 2009, Ofcom recommended that one person or company should not be able to own, in a local radio coverage area, all three of a local radio station; local newspapers with 50% or more of the local market share, and a regional channel 3 licence.

In July, the DCMS said it would put an order following Ofcom’s recommendations from last year before parliament in November, and asked the regulator to investigate whether it should also relax the rules further and remove the part covering local newspapers.

In today’s decision, Ofcom said a combined ownership of a channel 3 television licence, a local commercial radio station and the main local newspaper could still put too much control over the local news agenda in the hands of one person or company.

Ofcom said: "Limited plurality of news and opinion in a local area could restrict local debate and accountability. This remains a serious consideration which needs to be weighed against the arguments for further relaxation."

However, the regulator said whether the remaining rule should be removed is a matter of judgment and one that is rightly made by government and parliament.

A spokesman for the DCMS said it would reveal more details of its plans in due course.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

Share
Bauer launches daily football stats email The Equaliser

Bauer launches daily football stats email The Equaliser

Bauer Media has launched The Equaliser, a football-based daily email combining sports statistics and analysis, targeting desktop and mobile users.

Share
Mediacom takes over first ad break in ITV's Good Morning Britain

Mediacom takes over first ad break in ITV's Good Morning Britain

Mediacom has struck a deal with ITV to fill the first ad break of the channel's new breakfast show, 'Good Morning Britain', with spots for its clients.

Share

Get news by email