Plurality rules have long been used to ensure diverse ownership of media, with the expectation that this leads to the availability of diverse news coverage to citizens, which in turn supports democratic discourse. In several countries there is current debate as to whether plurality rules need to be strengthened, and particularly so in the United Kingdom, where News’ bid for Sky and the subsequent phone-hacking scandal have brought plurality issues to the fore. However, fundamental developments in the market mean that the costs of plurality interventions are rising, and the benefits are falling. This paper examines how the costs and benefits of plurality regulation are changing, using the United Kingdom as a case study.
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