UK calls for slackening Murdoch`s grip over media

Opposition leader Ed Miliband led calls for revision of media ownership rules.

London: Opposition leader Ed Miliband
on Sunday led calls for revision of media ownership rules to
prevent concentration and abuse of power in Britain, where
Rupert Murdoch`s embattled group came out with another apology
promising to make amends in the aftermath of the phone hacking

Labour leader Miliband articulated a growing opinion
when he said that Murdoch wielded too much power through his
holdings in the press and television industries.

His comments found support from Deputy Prime Minister
Nick Clegg who also sought a re-examination of media policy to
ensure plurality and prevention of concentration of power in
the hands of an individual or a group.

Under incessant political attacks, News International,
the British arm of Murdoch`s News Corp. placed another advert
in a number of Sunday newspapers, declaring that there should
be "no place to hide" from the police investigation into phone

Headed `Putting right what`s gone wrong`, the advert
states that the company will cooperate fully with the probe
and pay "compensation for those affected" and that the
organisation was "committed to change".

The advert came a day after the company printed
apologies in national newspapers, for the wrongdoings and
unethical practices adopted by journalists of the now closed
News of the World.

Miliband demanded cross-party agreement on new media
ownership laws that would cut Murdoch`s current market share,
arguing that he has "too much power over British public life".

Besides Miliband, several leaders have been calling
for a close look at Murdoch`s current media holdings and
whether they are "fit and proper" to function according to the
law in Britain.

Miliband said that the abandonment by Murdoch`s News
International of its bid for BSkyB, the resignation of its
chief executive Rebekah Brooks and the closure of the News of
the World tabloid were insufficient to restore trust and
reassure the public.

The Labour leader argued that current media ownership
rules are outdated, describing them as "analogue rules for a
digital age" that do not take into account the advent of mass
digital and satellite broadcasting.

"If you want to minimise the abuses of power then that
kind of concentration of power is frankly quite dangerous."
Clegg on his part said there was a need to "look again
in the round at the plurality rules to make sure there is
proper plurality in the British press".

"A healthy press is a diverse one, where you`ve got
lots of different organisations competing, and that`s exactly
what we need," he said.

Meanwhile, the statement from News International said
the group had no excuses and that it would work on the uphill
task of regaining public trust.

"We will not tolerate wrongdoing and will act on any
evidence that comes to light."

It said the apologising for mistakes and fixing them
were only the first steps.

"It may take some time for us to rebuild trust and
confidence, but we are determined to live up to the
expectations of our readers, colleagues and partners. We will
not stop until these matters are resolved."


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