Left Watch

« Simon Hughes holds his fire over Cameron's Coulson meeting at Chequers, and attacks Blair instead | Main | Tom Baldwin's action as a communications agent for Alastair Campbell started a chain of events which led to the death of David Kelly »

News International should sell some newspapers says Ed Miliband, in bid to kill wounded Murdoch

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter.

Screen shot 2011-07-17 at 08.21.50

Boosted by improving personal ratings Ed Miliband is keeping up the pace on the hacking controversy with proposals today to cut Rupert Murdoch's stake in the UK newspaper industry. Talking to The Observer he says:

"I think that we've got to look at the situation whereby one person can own more than 20% of the newspaper market, the Sky platform and Sky News. I think it's unhealthy because that amount of power in one person's hands has clearly led to abuses of power within his organisation. If you want to minimise the abuses of power then that kind of concentration of power is frankly quite dangerous."

The current concentration of newspaper power is captured in the chart below, with News International accounting for 29.4% of national newspaper readership (according to OfCom) BEFORE the closure of the News of the World:


Does this matter when we know that 73% of people get their news from the TV and 70% of TV news is provided by the BBC?

Also in The Observer, Nick Cohen argues we overstate the importance of newspapers:

"Weighted by circulation, 74.8% of the press backed the Tories at the last election, but just 36.1% voted for David Cameron. Only 13.3% of the press supported Brown, but 29% of the electorate voted Labour. Except in dictatorial states, and maybe Berlusconi's Italy, the internet-connected citizen has too many sources of information for propagandists to control."

In The Sunday Telegraph Janet Daley believes that the Left is determined to eliminate any competition for the BBC/Guardian worldview:

"The Left does not want a debate or an open market in ideas. It wants to extirpate its opponents – to remove them from the field. It actually seems to believe that it is justified in snuffing out any possibility of our arguments reaching the impressionable masses – and bizarrely, it defends this stance in the name of fairness."

> Sam Bowman on Comment yesterday: Media plurality depends on reform of the BBC