Exam date

When's the 2016 exam? Wednesday 8th June, am.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

FUTURE Tory government media policy will be...

A QUICK LOOK AT PROSPECTS FOR MEDIA REGULATION UNDER NEW TORY GOVERNMENT

IN A NUTSHELL:
At this point, nothing is certain, but informed speculation is part of the remit ... 
Some major changes in (de)regulation of (concentration of) ownership + PSB requirements, with the BBC facing major upheaval and deeper top-slicing, possibly even groundwork for eventual privatisation. Channel 4 could be sold off, and restrictions lifted on cross-media ownership. The press, most of which campaigned for this government, will be largely untouched. Alongside economic liberalism (further free market deregulation) will come social conservatism, with moves to impose age ratings on music videos, restrict online freedom of speech and access to adult sites, and give the security forces the right to eavesdrop on all electronic communications, spanning social media, email, phone conversations and browsing history. OfCom to take on BBC regulation?
The fate of the BBC (see Guardian news feed) is likely to be the big media news story

A MORE DETAILED ANALYSIS:

...To a degree, quite predictable, BUT then again some of their more radical plans from 2010 didn't see the light of day. OfCom was to have been thrown on the 'bonfire of quangos' but, unlike the UK Film Council, was reprieved.

Briefly, I think we can expect (largely echoing the article below):

a hands off approach to the press, almost all of which encouraged readers to vote Tory in 2015 (even the Indie). IPSO looks safe ... unless a paper decides to break its 5 year contract and, as Desmond did with the PCC, just walk away from it. The local press can look forward to new tax breaks
newspapers will largely breathe a sigh of relief, both local newspapers promised rates relief and the nationals which feared more legislation to increase press regulation in the wake of Leveson. Martin Moore, director of the Media Standards Trust, said that the election result “removes this particular Sword of Damocles” as more legislation was unlikely.Indeed, at the end of April Javid said his party would not back a Leveson-approved regulator as: “It interferes with the freedom of the press. It goes fundamentally against one of the Leveson principles, which is independent self-regulation.” Besides, press regulation was a job done.Yet with nearly all major newspapers with the exception of the Guardian, Independent and Financial Times having signed five-year contracts with Ipso, the independent press standards body set up in the wake of the Leveson inquiry, it will be interesting to see whether any organisation considers breaking the contracts. [quotes from Martinson, 2015]
Tax breaks for film to continue

The BBC will be hammered. A Tory target for decades, look out for swift action, as controversial policies are often brought in quickly enough to reduce any electoral fallout in the next election. Top-slicing will continue, with options such as local press and the so-far failing local TV franchises possibly getting some of the licence fee whilst broadband rollout financing will continue.
it is clearly the BBC which has most to worry about from the Conservative mandate. With the royal charter set to expire at the end of 2016, there are just 19 months to agree the future funding and structure of the corporation. Of all the main parties, the Tories have shown signs of being the most hostile to the cost and expansion of the BBC. They were the only main party offering to freeze the £145.50 annual licence fee as a way of saving voters money, putting the pledge at the top of their manifesto’s media wishlist. 
the BBC’s spending and its ability to provide “value for money” will be at the heart of the charter renewal debate. That the Tories meant business was reflected in the manifesto also containing a pledge to continue “top-slicing” the licence fee to fund superfast broadband across the country, a charge taking £150m per annum out of the BBC’s £3.6bn funding pot. 
2016 may be too early to scrap the licence fee or privatise the BBC, but both would be welcomed by most Tory MPs. The SNP is far from happy at how the BBC has covered it, UKIP is with the Tories in perceiving a left-wing bias (and Farage loudly complained about this during the leadership debate programme), and, from the left, the Greens are opposed to the license fee continuing ... so there may not be an effective opposition to any radical changes.
A new report by Loughborough University’s communication research unit to be published today shows how much more coverage Ukip garnered [twice as much] in national TV and newspapers than the SNP despite the latter going on to win 50 times more seats.
The BBC Trust will surely go - OfCom to replace it?
the BBC Trust has already been called a busted flush by a cross-party group of MPs. In bringing in figures such as Sir Roger Carr, Javid signalled that the party is keen to have pro-business leaders identifying a replacement.
How effective is debatable, but age rating will spread to music videos and possibly teen magazines, with some effort to restrict and regulate access to some categories of websites for adults as well as children.

Labour pushed the separate ITV companies to merge back in 2001, arguing a larger corporation was needed to compete with global conglomerates; I wouldn't be surprised to see liberalisation of ownership restrictions putting C4 up for grabs (C5 was recently snapped up by a US conglomerate). Murdoch may well resurrect his bid, originally pushed through by Tory Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, to buy up the remaining 60% of BSkyB shares.

A new push to legislate for security forces' right to eavesdrop on all electronic and telephonic communication has already been indicated, to be steered through by Home Secretary Teresa May - the Lib Dems had blocked this very recently, but that Coalition block is now gone.
within 24 hours of polls closing on Thursday, home secretary Theresa May confirmed that the draft communications data bill, or so-called snoopers’ charter, was back on the agenda now the Liberal Democrats were no longer around to block it. Prior to the election Cameron said that there should be no communication that the government was unable to read.
Contrarily, there had seemed to be some consensus over protecting journalists' rights to protect sources.

Then there's TTIP, which could supersede the Freedom of Information Law and make the likes of the Guardian's long legal battle against Trafigura an impossibility in future, with tribunals, not British or European law courts, as the ultimate legal arbiter in many cases about corporate and bureaucratic conduct.

In a nutshell, economic liberalism and social conservatism - reducing ownership and PSB regulation whilst regulating on content.
A mix of change and status quo then.

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