23 January 2018 — Media Reform
Today, the Competition and Markets Authority announced that it is recommending a provisional block on the Fox-Sky merger on plurality grounds. This is welcome news, but far from a done deal. We still need to make sure that the merger doesn’t win approval on the basis of superficial undertakings offered by the Murdochs.
In other news, we have unveiled a Media Reform agenda for 2018, seeking to address the “fragility of local media, the growth of ‘news deserts’, the unaccountable power of tech giants, the meekness of public service broadcasting and the brutalising commercial logic that underpins media markets and regulation”
We are also hosting a public meeting on the evening of 2nd March to discuss War, Journalism and Whistleblowers. The event marks the 15th anniversary of Katharine Gun’s infamous GCHQ leak which served to galvanise the mass movement of opposition to the Gulf War and to remind us of the enduring role played by both whistleblowers and the press in speaking truth to power. As well as Katharine herself, speakers include Thomas Drake (former senior executive of the US National Security Agency); Duncan Campbell (award winning journalist, author and TV producer); Jesslyn Radack (national security and human rights attorney representing Ed Snowden among other whistleblowers); and Silkie Carlo (director of Big Brother Watch and leading voice in the campaign against the UK’s repressive surveillance and official secrecy laws). Admission is free but limited and advance registration essential – please sign up here.
We have also set the date for the next Media Democracy Festival which will take place on Saturday 17th March at Birkbeck, Malet Street, London WC1A 7HX. As with previous years, the event promises to be a day of organising and energising for change, with a string of high profile speakers to be announced shortly.
Finally, our good friends from the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom have launched a crowdfunding initiative to help put the brakes on the Murdoch media empire once and for all and pressure the government into finishing the Leveson Inquiry.
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