The following goes against my libertarian ideals so I would welcome a better way.
If we want a free press, we could do it with legislation, but not the way so many lefties propose.
First of all, no one man should control a national newspaper, or in fact any television station. It is a recipe for the greedy and power hungry to control governments.
But neither should legislation curtail the press to go about their lawful work.
In addition, we need different rules for different cases.
For example, we can be more relaxed on the politics of newspapers which have a cover price and are sold in newsagents. Free newspapers should have a 4" x 2" banner at the top of page one stating the party the newspaper supports or, if they don't want to do that, be in the same class as television news and be put into public ownership.
These should be forced to go onto the stock exchange, if not already, and no one person permitted to hold more than 5% of the shares. It should be a criminal offence if (a) any person tries to find a way around this and (b) tries to use undue influence on an editor with threats or bribery.
This way we might get some fairness. If these newspapers are chargeable, then they do not need a political banner at the top. We are not here to molly-coddle the public, and must assume they like the politics of their favourite newspapers if they are paying to read them.
As I said above, if delivered free (no matter that they sell some in local shops) they need the 4"x2" banner at the top, in the banner colour of the party they support and the party name in readable letters. And, again, it should be a criminal offence if (a) any person tries to find a way around this and (b) tries to use undue influence on an editor with threats or bribery.
At the moment large chains often own local newspapers and whilst it may not be feasible to treat these newspapers the same way as national newspapers, such as public ownership, the chains should have a two year period to divest themselves of titles and retain only one newspaper title. It is wrong for a chain with many newspapers in a constituency to be able to decide who wins at an election.
These must be treated as national newspapers (BBC,ITV, Four, Five and Sky) and be hived off into public ownership, once again with no person owning more than 5% of the shares. Whether the present owning corporation is a public company or not. The BBC News, in this case as a public limited company, would be permitted to advertise.
I know all this sounds a little complex but the result could eventually be news media actually delivering, on the whole, unbiased news.
After WW2, Marxists, knowing they were too small to do any harm, so they infiltrated the teaching profession and television news. This is why the teaching profession is so biased towards the left, as is television news.
My plan won't change this initially, but biased managers will find that the majority of people who have money to spend are the workers, mainlystaff on the right, and unless the company reduces its bias, people with money won't watch or buy goods and the advertisers will disappear.
In addition, the government will not have to interfere with any news reporting which would be an incredibly dangerous road to go down.
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