ALTERNATIVES – HOW UK MEDIA COULD SERVE THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Concentration of media ownership
The first is that concentration of media ownership has been allowed to develop unchecked for decades. Three companies now control 90% of our national newspaper market and 83% of local newspapers are controlled by just six companies.
Meta (Facebook) controls three of the top five social media services used to access online news in the UK. Traditional news organisations account for 48% of Facebook users’ news sources expanding the online market reach of a few dominant publishers.
Media concentration enables wealthy individuals to amass great social and political power. For example, Rupert Murdoch was strongly in favour of invading Iraq in 2003 – and so were all but one of his 175 newspapers across the world. This made it easier for the UK government to ignore millions of people protesting against the war, and to avoid scrutiny of their decisions.
The larger and more concentrated media empires become, the more concerned politicians are to maintain good relations with owners and editors. The Leveson Inquiry into the media revealed how politicians steered clear of regulating media concentration to garner favour with news proprietors.