Tag Archives: ofcom

Liberal Democrats are being excluded from referendum debate – don’t put up with this

We Liberal Democrats are used to not getting our fair share of media attention. Since last year’s general election, that has got even worse. However, we still aren’t getting anything like the coverage we should have based on our size.

Research carried out by the University of Loughborough during the EU referendum campaign shows that we are only being included in 1% of both press and broadcast media. Mind you, the official opposition doesn’t fare that much better, although that has definitely changed in the last few days.

Coverage by party during EU Ref

 

If you were thinking that there was a gross over-representation of right wing men, the study confirms your instincts.

The debate is highly presidential in character, focussing on key individuals. The top six individuals are all right-of-centre and are all men. Despite concern expressed by left-of-centre and female politicians about media coverage it’s still largely a ‘Tory story’ and a male dominated, ‘blue-on-blue’ tale at that.

So who are the main media performers?

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‘Ofcom have bottled it over Openreach’ – Farron

 

 

Tim Farron by Paul Walter

Tim Farron has commented over Ofcom’s decision over the future of Openreach:

Ofcom had a chance to make a massive change in the sector and have bottled it. I am now calling on the Government to be bold and bring forward plans to break up Openreach and BT, and inject real competition into internet provision. If they won’t, we will, and I will challenge them to back it. Are they on the the side of entrepreneurship or not?

Most of my constituents count themselves lucky if they can

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Sal Brinton on Question Time tonight – will she confront Farage over UKIP’s awful broadcast?

So much for my early night tonight. I have to get up before the Cool Kids have gone to bed to get a flight to Cardiff to go to Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference. I can’t miss Sal Brinton on Question Time (BBC1, 10:45pm), though. Especially as there may be a bit of an awkward moment for Nigel Farage. He’s on the programme yet again on the day that Tim Farron and Meral Ece have complained to the BBC and Ofcom about UKIPs Party Political Broadcast last night. They say that it incited religious and racial hatred.

I don’t normally go out of my way to watch UKIP broadcasts. Life is just too short. However, I steeled myself to look at this one and, sure enough, my skin was soon crawling. It was basically a brash and ugly attempt to create division and distrust and gives a very false impression of Turkey and its people. It made me feel very uncomfortable. The premise was that Turkey was just about to join the European Union and this was a bad thing. It’s not as if that’s likely to happen any time soon, but they made it sound like it was going to take place next week.

UKIP are using exactly the same tactics as they did in 2013 over Romanians and Bulgarians. It’s truly horrible. I remember people in Eastleigh telling me on the phone that 40 million Romanians and Bulgarians were going to come to Britain – a massive proportion of the populations of those two countries – because UKIP leaflets were full of it. In fact, this time last year, there were 172,000. Those figures estimated that there were 1.9 people here from other European countries. There are 2 million British people elsewhere in the EU. Freedom of movement works both ways.

Tim explained why they had reported the ad to OFCOM:

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Is the SNP’s latest European Election Broadcast even legal?

imageLast week, the SNP’s first broadcast for the European Elections was broadcast. It bore a remarkable similarity to the broadcasts that they have been putting out since the end of last year which were all aimed at persuading people to vote Yes in the independence referendum. It interspersed colourful footage of children talking about how wonderful and independent Scotland with black and white starkness portraying a vision of hellish Westminster rule.

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LibLink | Vince Cable: I declared war on Murdoch… now everyone agrees with me

Business Secretary Vince Cable has an interview in the Evening Standard, in which he discusses his declaration of “war” on Rupert Murdoch, his referral of the BSkyB takeover bid to Ofcom and Murdoch’s role in the phone hacking scandal:

…the Business Secretary also reveals for the first time that he considered resigning from Cabinet during the furore when he said he was “at war” with the media tycoon.

“I certainly felt rather low at the time because I was heavily criticised,” he said at the end of a week that has seen the tables comprehensively turned between the two men.

“And I

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Opinion: Cameron should be as ruthless as Murdoch‏

In shutting the News of the World, the Murdochs have shown themselves to be ruthless. Their ruthlessness changed the story, although it has not killed it.

David Cameron needs to be as ruthless. So long as the Murdochs have a powerful media presence, his hiring of Andy Coulson and his closeness to Rebekah Brooks are real issues. The retoxification of the Tory party is underway.

Cameron should announce that he was lied to by Coulson, and that the level of rot can only have happened if people at the top were not managing the paper properly. It was Brooks and …

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Julian Huppert: Winning the battle on the Digital Economy Act

In common with many Liberal Democrats, I have opposed the Digital Economy Act since its introduction as a Bill during the dog-days of the Labour government.

Along with Bridget Fox, Obhi Chatterjee and an army of activists online and offline, I helped to get an emergency motion passed almost unanimously at Spring Conference last year that condemned the Bill, in particular for its provisions on website-blocking.

The motion also called for a working group to be created to draw up policy papers on information technology and intellectual property. I now act as chair of that working group, and you can find details of its progress at www.makeitpolicy.org.uk, among other places.

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Vince orders Ofcom investigation of News Corp’s bid for BSkyB

The last few months has seen a curious coalition emerge, uniting media foes of right and left and non-aligned, ranging from the Daily Mail to the Guardian, Trinity Mirror to the Telegraph, the BBC and Channel 4. What has brought them together? Opposition to the bid by News Corporation, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, for full control of BSkyB (the company currently owns a minority 38% stake).

Well, today Vince Cable offered them some cheer — he has referred News Corp’s bid to the media regulator, Ofcom. The BBC reports:

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has ordered Ofcom to investigate News

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Ofcom rejects complaint from Lord Ashcroft over reporting of his tax status

Ofcom’s judgement summary reads:

On 17 December 2009, BBC Radio 4 broadcast an edition of Today, its early morning news and current affairs programme, which included an item looking back at the preceding day’s activities in Parliament and discussed questions put to Ms Harriet Harman MP (who was standing in for the Prime Minister) during Prime Minister’s Question Time.

Harbottle & Lewis complained to Ofcom on behalf of Lord Ashcroft that the programme wrongly and unfairly stated that during Prime Minister’s Question Time the Liberal Democrats had accused Lord Ashcroft of tax evasion and therefore implied that he was guilty of a

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Ofcom publishes draft code for internet piracy

At the end of last week the regulator Ofcom published a draft of the code to be followed for taking action against online copyright infringement following the passage of the Digital Economy Act.

As Rory Cellan-Jones points out, some aspects of the draft code deal with concerns raised during the passage of the Act. In particular, the code only applies to ISPs with over 400,000 customers, thereby excluding operators of Wi-Fi networks such as cafes and universities who had been worried they would be forced to incur significant costs tightly policing their networks.

The code also confirms one of the concessions …

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Ofcom rejects SNP/Plaid objection to TV debate

A message from Ofcom brought this news today:

Ofcom today announced it has not upheld complaints received from the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Plaid Cymru about The First Election Debate broadcast on ITV1 at 8.30pm on Thursday 15 April 2010.  The political parties complained that the programme was not impartial and was also misleading.

The complaints were adjudicated by the Ofcom Election Committee which may consider complaints during an election period where it is considered that a substantive issue is raised and where the complaint, if upheld, might require redress before polling day.

The Committee considered all the submissions and evidence before it, in …

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Illegal file-sharing: what does the public think?

The latest Ofcom survey of internet users in the UK shows that less than half believes downloading shared copies of copyright music and films should be illegal. 42% say it should be illegal, against 33% who believe it shouldn’t be illegal and 25% who don’t know.

I’m not aware of comparable figures for other laws, but 42% strikes me as  being a very low figure. It highlights another problem with the Government’s dalliance with taking tough (sounding) measures to enforce the law. Though Labour now is backing away from the idea that someone could be cut off from the internet …

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Party Political Broadcasts: Ofcom proposes some tweaks to the rules

You have until 25 November to give Ofcom your views of their proposed amendments to the rules governing Party Political Broadcasts. Ofcom’s rules apply to the commercial outlets that run PPBs – Channels 3, 4 and Five, Classic FM, talkSPORT and Absolute AM. (The BBC and S4C have their own rules.)

Aside from some tidying up and clearer processes, the changes proposed look sensible and are:

  • to provide that the number of PEBs allocated to major parties and other registered parties should be determined having regard

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJonathan Maltz 15th Nov - 12:48am
    John B: my comment was tongue-in-cheek. All Labour can offer given their well-known intransigence is to guarantee that the Tories will be the largest party...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 14th Nov - 11:42pm
    Jo Swinson says that the party "must give voters a genuine remain option" in the election. Quite right. The problem is that the party is...
  • User Avatarcrewegwyn 14th Nov - 11:30pm
    Thanks Mark.
  • User AvatarGaryE 14th Nov - 11:04pm
    David makes a valid point for seats with few resources and low membership. If central funds can pay deposits then £500 pays for 15,000 A4...
  • User AvatarDavid Sheppard 14th Nov - 9:20pm
    Thanks Mark for thinking of those not so well packed full of Liberals places like mine. We have had to fund from our own meagre...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 14th Nov - 8:27pm
    @ Mick Taylor, 13th November,7,31pm Whilst pacts are understandable given our FPTP system, maybe I am being obtuse , but don't they also reduce voter...