News Plurality in a Digital World – new RISJ Report

Media plurality is once again under the policy spotlight, prompted by recent revelations about press behaviour and concerns arising from the proposed (and then dropped) acquisition of BSkyB by News Corporation.

This new RISJ report News Plurality in a Digital World is intended as an input to the ongoing deliberations of the Leveson Inquiry and to the wider debate about  the issue of media plurality both in the UK and internationally.

In particular, the report examines the role of powerful new digital intermediaries such as search engines, social networks, and app stores. They play a key role in enabling users to access an increasing range of news sources in the online world, but they may themselves, through their control of pathways to content and payment mechanisms, become as significant a threat to plurality in future as old-world media mergers appear to us today.

This report examines the nature and scope of their activities and their implications for plurality – both good and bad – in a fast-changing digital world.

It is based on research carried out in April, May, and June of 2012 and  draws on the first Reuters Institute Digital News Report into patterns of news consumption.

This report has been supported by a grant from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.