Monday, July 11, 2011

Time For A New Media Agenda For The UK

The Tories really are making fools of themselves over the News International affair. The latest is that Jeremy Hunt has apparently written to OFCOM to ask them if the NewsCorp bid for BSkyB should be blocked - and then sent LibDem Danny Alexander to explain this. We're way beyond this...

And is this the same OFCOM that David Cameron so publicly demonised in his infamous 'Bonfire of the Quangos' speech ? They're a very useful fire break all of a sudden.

The real problem in the UK at the moment is that 'due process' has fallen behind the times, from the legal system to the political system, and now is the time for our country's leaders to stand up and sort this legislative mess out and make it 'fit for purpose' in the 21st century, especially in line with how media has changed. It's wrong to confuse Twitter with democracy, but it's also wrong to try and shoehorn 17th century legislation to manage the Internet world.

What is needed is clear vision on what the media landscape in the UK should look like, from our support for content production to our role in the global media market. Kowtowing to global media giants like Google has done the UK tech and media industry no good at all.

Issues like tax, IP management, investment incentives as well as ownership need to be examined.

No doubt, a good candidate for yet another 'committee' or quango. Whatever happened to politicians making policy ?

Cameron has found himself the wrong side of the line on this issue and will continue to receive a battering from Labour on this. For the first time the LibDems have an opportunity to show their mettle. No doubt they'll flunk it.

This is one of the UK's most important industries and needs the kind of backing the bankers have unwaveringly received from the Tories, and that means a comprehensive review of our laws as well as our processes and policies.