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Steve Parks @steveparks
, 24 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
The next panel at @BylineFest starts with a few words from Tom Watson. He starts by saying there’s a few things he wants to say about monopolies and media ownership, and how things might change under a Corbyn Labour government…
He talks about the decline of the local press, titles closing all the time - byt that the loss of local journalism also brings a loss of trust in local political institutions.
What has then been happening is local press has been bought at fire sale prices
He says ownership is becoming concentrated.

“We are coming to the end of the Murdoch era, thank god. But we need to make sure that the powerful of Silicon Valley don’t simply fill the void.”

#BylineFest #BylineFestival
He sets out some of his thoughts:

Have to stop big Tech companies hoovering up small innovative Media Tech companies. They are becoming data monopolies that are stopping new forms of media models getting any foothold. This isn’t being regulated.

Regulatory convergence is needed.
This giant tech firms hire lawyers and lobbyists to run rings round politicians and regulators. There’s a whole list of splintered regulators. Needs to be a stronger simpler approach.
On electoral commission, in answer to @carolecadwalla, Tom says she’s right. The EC should not be body to investigate undermining of democracy. Need to demand
1) Gov confirm or deny if NCA are investigating this
2) if not there must be an independent inquiry
Tom says those are a few things at the meta scale and Corbyn outlined more ideas in Edinburgh. They want to support more community and cooperative forms of public interest journalism. Through taxation, possibly on the Tech companies who currently don’t pay ;)
Tom says they also want to make the BBC less prone to government inerference. Remove power of appointments, funding etc.

And that wraps up his opening remarks. He gets warm applause.

Next up it’s journalist Nick Davies who broke phone hacking story
#BylineFest #BylineFestival
Nick talks about how the Murdoch empire wields power, and its with fear. He’s learned this through his investigations into the phone hacking crimes, and the papers response to that. They wield a fear that their attentions will be turned on you if you step out of line
He echoes Tom’s comments that the Murdoch style media empires are being replaced by the tech companies who now wield control over information and data. He says we ought to nationalise such monopolies, but the companies are too powerful for any Gov to take on...
Nick says that, instead, the only way a government can tackle and regulate it is through taxation. But that can’t be on income or profit because they hide that offshore. It needs to be on something visible and unhideable. But gov must address this growing threat
Next up is a speaker from Avaaz, the campaigning organisation (sorry didn’t catch the name, but assume she’s Alaphia Zoya - please correct me if wrong!). She echoes the points so far, and talks also about the threat from the merger of Fox News and Sky...
She says that Fox News is blatantly propaganda, in a way that stems from military tactics. The US military has branches for land, air, sea, and ‘strategic’ information - which is to use propaganda to undermine enemies and achieve the mission...
... and this links in with the strategic information approach used by Moscow. They have seeded thousands of fake social Media accounts, and build them as normal personalities, a yoga teacher for example, who builds up a following in that community...
... then a news event happens and they suddenly all start tweeting in unison with the Moscow line, but looking like ordinary concerned citizens with perfectly ‘reasonable’ anger and viewpoints.

So organisations that are part of this should not be able to run ‘News’ organisations
Next up is a speaker called Ivor (sorry, didn’t catch surname and his role wasn’t introduced). He highlights the way Ed Miliband was targeted by the tabloids so aggressively, and how anti-semitic that coverage actually was. He gave examples, which heard together were shocking.
Now discussion about demise of investigative journalism in the UK, eg programmes like world in action. Nick Davies says ITV was big in investigative journalism, but the Thatcher gov changed the license bidding and conditions, rather than quality it became about highest bid
... there’s discussion that the second biggest income for newspapers now, after advertising, is no longer selling papers or subscriptions - it’s sponsored content, in which news coverage is paid for. Example given is Evening Standard leak re planned Google advertorial...
(update on the details of the speaker named Ivor...)
A competition lawyer raises issue with the view that Tech monopolies too big to regulate, says that Europe have been taking steps.
Tom says yes, and Labours plan is not to believe they can’t be regulated but to bring the regulators together into a more powerful single point
Audience member also raises issue of the pseudo think tanks that have sprung up as part of the propaganda. Give themselves the whiff of independent academia and institutes, and get invited on all the news programmes as a result, without context...
Tom says Think Tank funding must be transparent. Nick says most funding comes from biz and wealthy backers, so are inherently right wing.
They also launch phoney grassroots campaigns - astroturf - like ‘campaign for real Cooking’ which tend out to be backed by sugar industry
Two teachers raise concern that this problem urgently needs to be addressed for the next generation. Equipping them with skills to handle this. Ivor says ironically Tories scrapped media studies in schools, but are now bringing it back.
... and that wraps up the panel on Media ownership at the @BylineFest

The speakers were:
@tom_watson @Bynickdavies @ivorgaber @Alaphia
Panel chair was @maryftz of @openDemocracy

Give them all a follow!

#BylineFest #BylineFestival
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