Friday, 30 November 2012

Co-operatively-owned Morning Star to develop new Scottish coverage and distribution

The Real Alternative to News International?

Amongst all the debate on Leveson, press ‘freedom’ and holding politicians to account, the main issue seems to have been forgotten - Press ownership. To be fair Leveson didn’t have it in his remit, but that in itself speaks volumes. 
Can anyone doubt that it was the sheer power of the News Corp empire that cowed most politicians? That drew corrupt officials, and managers to it like a moth to a flame? That power was built on its huge reach - a reach, let us remember, that was likely to have been extended via the full take over of BSkyB, had not the Millie Dowler hacking blown apart the cosy consensus of politician, regulator and bidder. Of course we should remember that News Corp held on to their 39.1% holding in BSkyB!

While an Independent press regulator, backed by statutory powers can be seen as an improvement (depending on how they are appointed and to whom they are accountable), the real solution lies in a media that is NOT dependent on big business, one that is accountable to its readers, and open to involvement by any of them.

A pipe dream? No, it exists, and is making a bold investment for the future here in Scotland. Tomorrow night (December 1), the launch of a new Scotland/North England print run of the Morning Star is being celebrated in style at the STUC building in Woodlands Road, Glasgow. As befits the only daily paper in the UK owned co-operatively by its readers, the night is being jointly organised by the Morning Star, and the Co-operative Party, 

The night will be a mixture of speeches (mercifully short, we are promised!) and music from some weel-kent faces. One addition to the list of speakers posted in my last blog is the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland. Johann Lamont is a Co-operative Party MSP, and has accepted an invitation from the party to speak.

Why not come along to back the real alternative to Murdoch’s millions! The night is free, but a collection for the Morning Star will be taken. Starts at 7.30pm. For further information

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