Cross-media Ownership

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 23rd May 1995.

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Photo of Stephen Dorrell Stephen Dorrell Secretary of State for National Heritage 3:31 pm, 23rd May 1995

I am a strong advocate of the propositions that regional identity is important and that regional media have an important role to play in fostering a sense of regional identity. I suspect that there is no disagreement on that matter in any part of the House.

The proposals do not address that issue directly, because it is not germane to the precise issue which the paper addresses—the regulation of media ownership. Concerns about regional identity in the BBC are handled through the BBC's pledge to audiences, and in the independent sector through the conditions attached to the award of licences by the ITC and the Radio Authority. That issue is not directly germane to the ownership of the companies which ultimately operate those licences.