13 February 2012
BECTU has welcomed the decision by the TUC to organise a conference entitled 'Taking on the media barons' on the 17 March 2012.
Assistant general secretary Luke Crawley will be among the speakers and details of the conference and the option to purchase tickets online can be found using this link.
BECTU general secretary Gerry Morrissey said:
"This is an important issue for the union and our general view is that a lack of pluralism doesn’t just have democratic consequences – it also affects investment and jobs in the industries that we work in. BECTU has taken a firm line on media ownership and has provided an energetic contribution to the policy debates around this issue, including a number of detailed submissions to recent consultations on the subject.
"We are particularly concerned with the degree of lobbying muscle that BSkyB can still flex. One obvious example of this is the iniquitous settlement around retransmission fees - where the BBC and ITV actually pay BSkyB to carry the content that their customers value the most. Anywhere else in the world, the payments would be heading in the opposite direction.
"We are also concerned about the unique let-out that BSkyB has been given in relation to EU content rules. Every other comparable broadcaster is expected to ensure that the majority of their programming is originated from within the EU.
"There are many other areas of industrial policy where the ability of over-powerful media interests is used to veto public-interest policies. We're very pleased that the TUC are challenging this problem head-on with this conference."
BECTU's consultation responses on this issue can be seen here:
- Response to the Culture Media & Sport Select Committee - January 2012
- OfCOM pluralism response - November 2011
- Licencing Channels 3 & 5 (OfCOM) - November 2011
- News Corp / BSkyB takeover - extended consultation response to Jeremy Hunt - June 2011
- News Corp / BSkyB response (OfCOM) - March 2011
- News Corp / BSkyB response - Public Interest consultation (OfCOM) - December 2010
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