Lords steps up news plurality inquiry

LONDON - The House of Lords Communications Committee is forging ahead with its inquiry into media ownership and news provision, today announcing a second call for evidence.

Since September, the committee has been investigating trends in media ownership and the provision of news, including the impact of concentrated media ownership on the balance and diversity of news in the UK.

To date, it has received evidence from witnesses including the director-general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, and the Chairman of ITV, Michael Grade.

The committee has also visited the US and held meetings with senior figures at News Corporation, CNN, FoxNews, ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

In the New Year, the committee will continue its inquiry, focusing on the regulation of media ownership and public interest issues.

It plans to examine the requirements of the Communications Act 2003, relating to the quality, quantity, scheduling and impartiality of national and regional broadcast news.

The committee is also inquiring into whether current national and local media ownership rules in the UK do enough to ensure a high quality and diverse news media, particularly in the light of moves towards multi-platform operations.

Finally, the committee is examining the impact of foreign ownership on the quality and independence of the UK news media.

The deadline for the submission of written evidence for the second part of the committee's inquiry into media ownership and the news is Friday, 8 February.

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