The theoretical position on media concentration is widely held.
It's backed up by historical experience,
the regulator documents that governments produce, and so on.
And the key ideas that democracy requires diversity and pluralism with
the media reporting and providing platforms for
different politicians and interest groups to present their views, is central to it.
But in practice, many examples of media concentration which have
a damaging and distorting effect on the democratic process have occurred and do occur.
And so, I want to move on now to look at
examples which are from the contemporary experience.
The case study I want to discuss is that of Rupert Murdoch.
Now, Rupert Murdoch in the United Kingdom has News International,
but that is just the UK arm of
a Global Media Group which encompasses television channels,
the film 20th Century Fox,
140 up newspapers worldwide,
and they are under the aegis of News Corporation.
In book publishing, Harper Collins is one of
the big book publishers in the UK and indeed in America, too.
B Sky B is the largest European satellite company but also a television company,
too, in terms of its revenue.
In the UK, the growth of
Rupert Murdoch's media ownership began in January 1969 with the news of the world.
He acquired in November 69, The Sun,
and controversially in January 1983,
The Times and Sunday Times,
and we will come back to why that was controversial in a second.
He also acquired Today,
a paper that been set up by Eddie Shah,
but he took it over when it was failing.