New Government and Change of Leadership DCMS

Hi All

With the change of government, I was wondering what your thoughts are about how we might proceed in engaging with the new ministers and their teams, the committees and the departmental civil servants, about issues related to media reform?

As my interest is community media, I’m pleased to see that Lisa Nandy has been appointed the Secretary of State, as she has previously led on Levelling-Up, and has written about the importance of devolution and place-based social renewal and economies.

My concern with the last government, which was reinforced by the civil service at DCMS, was that media policy has always been kept separately from social and public service policy, and that there were no meaningful discussion between the community media sector and other departments, such as Levelling-Up, Housing, Education, Health, and so on.

I’m also very concerned that the approach to misinformation put too much emphasis on the regulation of corporate organisations, and does not include people engaging within their communities. It’s all very well having Ofcom regulating online harms, but if the BBC is allowed to cut its local services, as they have done with radio, then people turn to other sources of news and information. Not all of these sources will be benign, and may be informed by antagonistic international forces.

Through our contacts within the Trade Unions and other organisations, such as the Media Reform Coalition and the Voice of the Listener and Viewer, what should we be saying to the new government?

Rob :slight_smile:

Hi Rob,
Thanks for your post. Regarding the ‘how’ of engaging with the new government, at the moment I am looking to do that primarily through the Public Service Media Forum and PINF’s new Media Infrastructure group. As a member of those two groups we have established contacts with a number of other organisations who have built routes to access government through prior lobbying, or are currently developing those routes. Given our small size and capacity, I think continuing to work through these networks, rather than trying to directly develop lobbying infrastructure ourselves, is the best approach for Better Media right now. Happy to be challenged on and discuss that though!

As for what it is we want to ask, I’m keen to hear from members about that! I am also hoping to get some input from our supporters in the trade unions (primarily Unite) about any areas of media policy they would be particularly interested in that we could work with them to develop a lobbying position around.


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Thanks @RG94

Yes, partnerships are going to be very important, as we learned with the Public Service Group coordinated with the Voice of the Listener and Viewer and the work undertaken for the Media Act.

I hope we can generate some practical ideas here, based on the experience of Better Media members, who work in different parts of the communications field.

It’s also going to be important to develop contacts in the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the metro mayors and local authorities. If the government is genuine about devolution, then media policy has to be part of the process of civic and social renewal.

Too much media policy is driven from Whitehall, and hasn’t accounted for regional perspective and needs. I’m keen to hear how people working across the UK in different roles, are experiencing these challenges.

Rob :slight_smile: