Media Regulation discussed with John Whittingdale

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(London) The Embassy of Ukraine hosted a talk by John Whittingdale OBE MP on Media Regulation in the UK. The event was organised by the Diplomatic Press Attachés’€™ Association of London (DPAAL).

Mr Whittingdale, who chairs the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee of the House of Commons, was speaking on issues falling within the competence of the Committee in the presence of press and political attachés accredited in London.

In his welcoming speech, Mr Volodymyr Khandogiy, Ambassador of Ukraine, stressed the important role that DPAAL has been playing as a platform for discussing the urgent issues of cooperation between the diplomatic missions and media organisations.

John Whittingdale introduced the main media issues dealt by the Committee he chairs. The cases of ethics violation by journalists as well as the future of public television were among them.

“Select Committees of the Parliament have become steadily more important in the course of the last two or three years”,€ Mr Whittingdale said. “They serve a very useful function, allowing public control over injustice”€.

Select Committees are cross-party institutions consisting of 11 members (5 Conservatives, 5 Labour and one Liberal-Democrat) and elected by the Parliament. Their chairmen are elected individually by all MPs. “When something goes wrong, the public can hold a person responsible and make it accountable through the respective Select Committee”. Following the phone hacking scandal in 2010-2011, the profile of the Select Committees has risen.

Mr Whittingdale also spoke of the UK media market trends. In particular, he outlined his views on the press regulator establishment, which is widely discussed in British society. According to him, this body should serve as an effective tool against manipulations in coverage. The press regulator is to prevent newspapers and magazines from violating the right for private life. At the same time, Mr Whittingdale shares the vision of media industry that the regulator is to be independent from politicians and owners, as well as accountable to citizens.

John Whittingdale has been the Chairman for the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee since July 2005. He also chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Ukraine Group since 2010.

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