Harman’s plan to force Murdoch to sell a newspaper – Media roundup: June 13th, 2013

June 13, 2013 9:59 am

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Harman’s plan to force Murdoch to sell a newspaper

Harriet Harman will use a speech on Thursday to suggest limiting the share of the newspaper market one person is allowed to own to below the “damaging” 30% mark, in what will be seen as a direct and renewed attack on Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch’s News International, which owns The Sun, The Sun on Sunday, The Times and The Sunday Times, controls around 37% of the market in the UK. Harman will say that a new limit, between 20% an 30%, should also include obligations on a media owner such as editorial independence, independent governance and promoting plurality in other ways. And she will suggest that a cap on newspaper market share should be accompanied by owners being limited to a 15% cap across the media as whole – including broadcast and online. For News International to comply with a 30% cap, Murdoch would likely have to sell one or more of his newspapers such as The Sun or The Times. – HuffPo

Cable to act on “zero hours” contracts?

Employers face action to stop them exploiting workers with controversial “zero-hours” job contracts. The Business Secretary Vince Cable will today announce a review of the controversial contracts which offer people work but with no guaranteed hours, regular pay or job security. More than 200,000 workers in Britain are now on zero-hour deals, which are especially popular with fast food chains and high street stores. Some people like the contracts because they give them flexibility – but many find they are prevented from getting a second job or end up with no work even though they are contracted to be available for a set number of hours a week. Mr Cable said the Department for Business will now look at ways of making sure the contracts are not abused by firms. –  Mirror

Other highlights

  • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

    “Harman’s plan”

    Reminds me of New Labour’s pre’97 plan to limit cross-media ownership – forgotten about after Blair scuttled half-way round the world in ’95 to to prostrate himself before Murdoch.

    And of course, Harriet occupied many senior positions between ’97 and 2010 but chose to keep quite on the matter of media ownership.

    Chinese proverb: Experience keeps an expensive school but fools will learn in no other.

    Yes, I was a fool and took New Labour at face value prior to ’97 so won’t be duped by promises made by the same team in the run-up to 2015.

    • JohnPReid

      Yes that was labours plan pre 97′ then by 97 , they’d dropped it, because the elections they promised to do that ,like 92 we lost, I’m not happy we dropped it, Blair had to do everything he could to try to win, it’s history, not nice but labour dropped that idea pre 97′ to win,

      • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

        Not quite sure what your point is – are you suggesting that Harriet should also drop her proposal?

        • JohnPReid

          No not at all, just saying Blair got rid of the plan as he was desperate to try to woo,the Murdoch press,not happy with that, but it’s history

          • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

            But surely, it follows from your previous comment – the plan re media ownership was dropped in ’97 because Labour lost in ’92 when it was included.

            Therefore, wouldn’t you advise dropping it again to avoid losing in 2015?

          • JohnPReid

            Fortunately not, the press destroyed us in 92′ they tried too in 2010′, but the power of the press has gone,they couldn’t even win It for Cameron 3 years ago,

          • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

            Ok, I get you now. So it’ll be down to Blue State Digital to get Labour’s message out – they can be very effective, providing Labour has has the right message.

  • charles.ward

    I’m glad Harriet Harman is proposing this, it shows the Labour Party gives the proposal the seriousness it deserves.

  • charles.ward

    If you have a media cap of 15% across TV, radio, print and online wouldn’t that require the breakup of the BBC?

  • MonkeyBot5000

    The limit should be one paper, not a percentage of the market.

    • charles.ward

      I would say that the daily papers don’t really compete with the Sunday’s and the broadsheet market is pretty separate from the tabloids. So one paper in each of the four combinations would be fair. Oh look, that’s exactly what Murdoch owns.

      • MonkeyBot5000

        And I would say the competition is irrelevant. It’s the number of papers that give him too much power and make our politicians scared of him.

        1 paper in which push your political agenda in anonymous leader articles.
        1 paper in which to plug your TV/film empire under the guise of “reviews”.

        And no paid positions/columns for politicians. Sorry, Boris.

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