You don’t have to be left to be right

If News Corp takes full control ….. it reduces the plurality of media ownership which should be a prerequisite in a dmoecracy ……

Sky has a revenue of £6bn.  Any proposal to allow a company of that size to come under the same ownership as the country’s largest national newspaper group must be a matter of legitimate public concern.  So Cable should certainly call in any bid by News Corp for full control of Sky – but that should not be the end of it.  The government should go one step further and examine what impact the increasing concentration of ownership is having on the news we all receive.

These words were part of yet another article calling on Vince Cable to “reel in” News Corp’s bid for full control of Sky.  But there was something different this time: they were written by a Conservative peer.

The article appeared today on the Opinion page of Media Guardian and its author is Lord Fowler, former chairman of the House of Lords select committee on communications.   Norman Fowler, a journalist by profession, was a prominent cabinet minister in Mrs Thatcher’s government. 

We greatly welcome the words of this informed and distinguished Conservative peer.  Although our campaign has been supported mainly by progressives,  the issue of media ownership should transcend political allegiance.  The dominance of the right wing media is a direct attack on the left, but the infringement of democracy should be of equal concern to everyone who values living in a free society. 

Lord Fowler has said that Cable should step in to prevent the takeover, but also that the government should examine the impact on our news of the increasing concentration of media ownership.  We say this should be part of the terms of reference for the  commission for which we are campaigning.

We also say that we hope people of all democratic political persuasion will support our campaign and that Lord Fowler’s position paves the way for Conservatives to join DemocracyFail.

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