Mass Media: Regulation

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Labour, Putney

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to independently regulate the media.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

Ofcom is the independent regulator of television and radio, which sets rules for licensed broadcasters to meet under the Communications Act 2003 and Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996. The Government will continue to ensure that Ofcom has the right balance of tools and powers to effectively regulate broadcasters.

There exists an independent self-regulatory system for the press. The majority of traditional news publishers—including 95% of national newspapers by circulation—are members of IPSO. A small number of publishers have joined Impress, while others have chosen to stay outside either self-regulator with their own detailed self-regulatory arrangements.

We have recently published an initial government response to the public consultation on last year’s Online Harms White Paper. Our plans for legislation will make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially children, and will help build trust in digital markets. Online Harms proposals do not seek to regulate journalistic content. Full details about an exemption for journalistic content will be published in the full Government Response to the Online Harms Consultation later this year.

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