Media Power and Plurality: from hyperlocals to high-level policy
Resources and discussion from a conference on Friday 2 May, organised by the University of Westminster’s Media Power and Plurality research project and hosted by the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism at City University London.
Policymakers throughout the world recognise the need to protect a diversity of voices and views in a democracy, but what does media plurality require in practice? How do you legislate to prevent undue concentration of media power? What interventions are needed to help new players flourish? How do you reconcile sustainable media businesses and a sufficiency of voices? How should policy approaches differ at national, regional and local level? The government’s consultation last year focused on media measurement, but there are far broader policy issues at stake and possible lessons to be learned from other countries. This conference, in the wake of recommendations from the Leveson Inquiry and from the House of Lords Communications Committee, explored UK policy on media ownership and diversity, as well as possible manifesto commitments in the forthcoming general election. Other panels, featuring a range of leading academic, industry and policy practitioners, looked at UK and European policy, options for local and hyperlocal initiatives, and the potential for “charitable journalism”.
- Baroness Onora O’Neill’s introductory remarks
- Tom Gibbons – What is ‘sufficient’ plurality?
- Philip Napoli – Missed research opportunities in media diversity policy assessment in the US
- Des Freedman: Media ownership – the elephant in the room
- William Perrin – Six questions for hyperlocal media policy from Carnegie UK Trust
Friday 2 May Agenda and speakers
8.45 – Registration
9.15 – Opening remarks
9.30 – Keynote
- Baroness Onora O’Neill, whose influential Reith Lectures in 2002 shaped thinking on media trust and ethics.
10am – Panel 1 – Priorities for national policy
- Chair: Professor Lorna Woods, University of Essex
- Rachael Craufurd-Smith, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh
- Robin Foster, Partner, Communications Chambers and adviser on media strategy, policy and regulation
- Professor Des Freedman, Goldsmiths, University of London
- Professor Tom Gibbons, University of Manchester
11.30 – Coffee
11.45 – Panel 2 – Subsidies, non-profits and charity: ideas for regeneration
- Chair: Professor Eric Barendt, University College London
- Mandy Cormack, Non-executive Director, Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust
- Isabel Hilton, Founder and Editor, China Dialogue
- Tom Murdoch, Senior Associate, Charity & Social Enterprise Team, Stone King
1pm – Lunch
2pm – Panel 3 – Local media plurality: is it all doom and gloom?
- Chair – Judith Townend, University of Westminster and City University London
- Nigel Dacre, Chair, Local TV Network
- David Holdsworth, Controller, English Regions, BBC
- Martin Moore, Director, Media Standards Trust
- William Perrin, Founder, TalkAboutLocal
3.30 – Tea
3.45 – Panel 4 – What can the UK learn from other countries?
- Chair: Professor Petros Iosifidis, City University London
- Dr Benedetta Brevini, Lecturer in Communication and Media, University of Sydney and City University London
- Professor Peter Humphreys, University of Manchester
- Professor Philip M. Napoli, Professor of Journalism & Media Studies, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University
- Mark Thompson, Open Society Foundations
5.15 – Close / thanks