By Matthew Barrett
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Earlier this week, after a speech Ed Miliband gave about News International, he was asked:
Would you count the BBC as part of the establishment – do they have too much power?
I think the BBC is in a different category and I think we, you know, obviously as part of all of the media reviews that there'll be – the Communications Act and so on, the issue of the BBC will be looked at. The BBC though is very tightly bound by a charter of the public interest by what they can say and all of that. Now there have been issues, which I am sort of sympathetic to, about the scale of BBC power over parts of the media market and those always need to be kept under review, but I think the BBC is very, very tightly bound in a way that some of the concentrations of private power in this country, including the media, are not.
An interview with Miliband by Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson appears in today's Times (£). This passage caught my eye:
"It is, in his view, time to rethink the cross-media ownership rules.
The Murdoch empire “has too much power in Britain”, he says. “Other countries, like the United States, wouldn’t allow the level of cross-media ownership that we have. Concentrations of power which are too large are bad for your country. Competition works.”"
Has Mr Miliband changed his view – does he now believe that "competition works", or does he still believe the BBC is exempt from anything resembling competition?
As Tim wrote earlier this month, the BBC is the dominant media network in this country – whether in television, internet or radio news. If Ed Miliband really wants to take on a powerful, "concentration of power", he should take a look at the BBC.