Lords demand Ofcom given more powers

A HOUSE of Lords committee has called for greater powers to be handed to Ofcom in a bid to protect traditional broadcasters from online competition.

The Lords Communications Committee today publishes the results of a months-long inquiry into broadcasters and news outlets, recommending changes to legislation that would shake up the British media regulation.

The committee’s chair, Conservative Lord Inglewood, said that the recent debate over regulation of the press had ignored the impact of online outlets, suggesting that MPs had failed to take the internet into account when drawing up proposals in the wake of Lord Justice Leveson’s report into press ethics.

“The media has been at the top of the news agenda for some time, but the debate has been too insular and vital issues have been left out of the discussions, particularly around the changing way in which we consume media today,” Lord Inglewood said.

The committee’s report calls for greater control over what appears on the internet – possibly by regulating broadband providers – and for a joined up system of media regulation that could see online audiovisual content subject to the same rules as broadcasters.