Amendment 45

Part of Media Bill - Committee (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords am 6:45 pm ar 20 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Lansley Lord Lansley Ceidwadwyr 6:45, 20 Mai 2024

My Lords, I am most grateful to those who participated in this short debate. I thought they raised some useful points.

I think my noble friend may have slightly misinterpreted Amendment 45. I was not in any way trying to extend the standards code to the online activity or websites of the press. I am not interested in that. If anything, what I am really interested in is that we have a number of broadcasters—the BBC, Sky, ITV—each of which has, in addition to its broadcast activity, significant online news presentations. This has not happened, and I am not accusing anybody of doing anything, but I know from past experience just how important it is who chooses what is regarded as the most important news at any given time.

The essence of many of these news online websites is that they are determining what the public are being told are the lead news stories at this moment. To that extent, although they are technically on demand because you can pull down the video clips from Sky News or from ITV or wherever, actually the presentation of those choices is important. I hope those broadcasters will continue to make responsible, impartial and accurate decisions, but if they were not to do so and they are broadcasters, I do not think the standards code would apply to them because this is not covered by their broadcast activity. However, I think it ought to: public service broadcasters, in so far as they are active in news promotion and presentation, should be accountable through the standards code for what they do.

I know my noble friend will recognise that this debate is part of a broader issue, which I want to pursue when I can, relating to the structure of the media public interest test and the importance of these tests in the standards code in relation to news generally and extending the media public interest to those who are responsible for the agglomeration and selection of content for news presentations on a wider set of platforms. I cannot do it in this Bill or in this amendment, but I hope to have the chance to do it sometime. I beg leave to withdraw Amendment 45.

Amendment 45 withdrawn.

Schedule 2, as amended, agreed.

Clause 28: Prominence on television selection services

Amendments 46 and 47 not moved.