Ofcom calls for media ownership reviews

The state of media ownership should be assessed every four years or so, broadcasting regulator Ofcom is recommending.

The review would cover all news and current affairs, including the BBC, as well as online media.

The proposals are contained in a report, which has been submitted to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, which was prompted by News Corp's failed bid to take over BSkyB.

A review which should take place every four or five years would be designed to check that a single media owner or outlet has not become too powerful, Ofcom said.

But it stopped short of recommending a specific cap on newspaper or media ownership.

"Setting absolute limits leaves no room to take account of the broader context, and this creates a risk that it is not possible to address issues of commercial sustainability and innovation in an appropriate manner," it said.

"On balance, we do not believe introducing a prohibition on share to be advisable currently."

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