Tuesday, May 01, 2012

British Media Mess

Today has been quite an extraordinary day in the history of UK media with Rupert Murdoch being personally censured by the UK Government.

However, the really worrying aspect of this has been the actual lack of any influence that our elected Government has over any media in the UK.

The BBC and Sky, from both ends of the commercial spectrum, have made idiots of successive generations of politicians.

The media remit is a poison chalice, as Jeremy Hunt is currently finding out, and the changes that are happenign are purely because of the tip in the balance of influence from newspapers and television to social media and the internet.

But the sins of the past are being repeated with Google and Facebook, which are totally unregulated as far as I can tell. If YouTube had to adhere to the same standards as ITV it should have been closed down a long time ago by, yes, here we go... OFCOM!

The quango that the Tories promised to shut down, which they are now happily hiding behind (yes you, Louise Minchin).

Somehow or other someone has to take this bloody mess and encourage and build a vibrant British media. It will require a serious clipping of the wings for American media interests and a total review of competition laws. Oh, yes, and getting rid of the woeful OFCOM and replacing  them with something more meaningful.

The Government has no idea how much damage companies like Google, Warner Bros and Apple are doing to the UK by taking a great big hoover to suck revenues from the UK and redistribute them to US shareholders. The loss to the UK economy is in tens of billions of pounds by now. I'm no protectionist, but surely a level playing field is the least a UK media startup can ask for ?

So, I just hope that, along with transport and energy, we can finally get media on the agenda when this washout of a government (and equally lacklusture opposition) are finally up for re-election. Fat chance. After all, they say that we get the media we deserve.