In October 2011, Jeremy Hunt MP, the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport asked Ofcom to answer five questions relating to media plurality.
This request followed Ofcom’s consideration of plurality in relation to the proposed NewsCorp/BSkyB transaction (the Public Interest Test) published in December 2010. Our report on that proposed transaction suggested that the existing framework for considering plurality might no longer be equipped to achieve Parliament’s policy objective.
In answering the questions, which are summarised in the statement document below, we first considered the underlying goals of plurality, its definition and scope:
An effective framework for measuring media plurality is likely to be based on quantitative evidence and analysis wherever practical. However, there are also areas where a high degree of judgement is required. The appropriate approach to exercising such judgement is ultimately for Parliament to debate and determine.