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Media Regulation
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Media Regulation
Governance and the Interests of Citizens and Consumers

  • Peter Lunt - University of Leicester, UK
  • Sonia Livingstone - London School of Economics, UK, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK


December 2011 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"An exemplary study of how media regulation works (and, by implication, how it could work better) set within a wider discussion of democratic theory and political values. It will be of interest not only to students and scholars but to people around the world grappling with the same problem: the need to regulate markets, and the difficulty of doing this well."
- James Curran, Goldsmiths, University of London


In Media Regulation, two leading scholars of the media examine the challenges of regulation in the global mediated sphere. This book explores the way that regulation affects the relations between government, the media and communications market, civil society, citizens and consumers. Drawing on theories of governance and the public sphere, the book critically analyzes issues at the heart of today's media, from the saturation of advertising to burdens on individuals to control their own media literacy.

Peter Lunt and Sonia Livingstone incisively lay bare shifts in governance and the new role of the public sphere which implicate self-regulation, the public interest, the role of civil society and the changing risks and opportunities for citizens and consumers. It is essential reading to understand the forces that are reshaping the media landscape.

 
Media and Communications Regulation and the Public Interest
Introduction

 
Regulation and the Role of the State

 
Regulation, Civil Society and the Public Sphere

 
Market Innovation versus Social Democratic Values

 
Introducing the Case Studies

 
 
Regulation and the Public Interest
From Government to Governance

 
The Theory of Regulation

 
Strategies of Regulation

 
New Labour, Social Democracy and Regulation

 
The European Context

 
The UK Context

 
Regulation and the Public Interest

 
 
Ofcom's Core Purposes: A Discursive Struggle
Media Regulation and the Implied Audience

 
The Communications Act 2003: In Whose Interest?

 
Ofcom's Remit: Interpreting Its Primary Duties

 
Actions to Further Citizens' and Consumers' Interests

 
Citizen Interests in a Wider Perspective

 
 
Ofcom as a Regulatory Agency
Ofcom's Remit and Rationale

 
From Guiding Principles to Working Practices

 
Core Business: Telecommunications, Spectrum Management and Media Plurality

 
Ofcom as an Institution in the Public Sphere

 
The Content Board and (Communications) Consumer Panel

 
Defining Citizen and Consumer Interests in Practice

 
Public Views of Regulation

 
Conclusion

 
 
Ofcom's Review of Public Service Television
Introduction

 
Public Service Broadcasting in the 1980s and 1990s

 
Ofcom's Remit in Reviewing Public Service Television

 
Ofcom's First Review of Public Service Television

 
A Public Service for All

 
Ofcom's Second Public Service Television Review

 
Ofcom's Consultation on the Second Review

 
Conclusion

 
 
Media Literacy
A New Lease of Life for an Old Policy

 
A Puzzling Task for the New Regulator

 
Definitional Diversity in Europe

 
Media Literacy as a Neo-Liberal Policy

 
The Politics of Media Literacy

 
From Media Literacy to Digital Participation

 
From Principles to Practice

 
From Individual Skills to Social Capabilities

 
Conclusion

 
 
Advertising Regulation and Childhood Obesity
Introduction

 
Regulating Advertising to Children

 
The Challenges of Evidence-Based Policy

 
Regulatory Action and Reaction

 
Regulatory Effectiveness?

 
Reflections on Evidence-Based Policy

 
Conclusion

 
 
Community Radio
Introduction

 
The Community Radio Order 2004

 
Regulating Community Radio

 
Evaluating Ofcom's Regulation of Community Radio

 
Conclusion

 
 
Conclusions
A Change of Direction

 
The Power to Make Policy

 
On the Value of an Independent Regulator

 
Conclusions

 
 
Afterword

An exemplary study of how media regulation works (and, by implication, how it could work better) set within a wider discussion of democratic theory and political values. It will be of interest not only to students and scholars but to people around the world grappling with the same problem: the need to regulate markets, and the difficulty of doing this well.

James Curran
Goldsmiths, University of London

Separately and jointly, Lunt and Livingstone have authored many fine writings, but this is arguably the best of the bunch! What makes this research special - even timeless for regulatory 'theory' - is its positioning amidst a set of well-defined philosophical and political tensions, especially between the interests of consumers and those of citizens.

Jay G. Blumler
University of Leeds

In the 1970s, media regulation began to be analyzed as a political development; in the 1980s, as a facet of and contributor to globalization; in the 1990s, as a discourse; and in the first decade of the 20th century, as exemplars and evidence of changes in the nature of the state itself. In this book, Lunt and Livingstone rely upon their deep knowledge of audiences to treat British media regulator Ofcom as an agent within the public sphere, adding to the interdisciplinary toolkit of those involved in policy analysis and providing a model that could usefully be applied to other types and loci of regulatory processes.


Sandra Braman
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Media Regulation’s strength lies, first of all, in its multifaceted and extremely convincing analysis of Ofcom as a regulatory institution in the UK context. The variety of case studies adds to the richness and balance of the arguments provided. Secondly, the book provides a more general analysis of modern-day media governance per se. It shows a sensitivity to how changing paradigms in media regulation have an effect on how media institutions and regulatory authorities interact to constitute modern-day media as both a consumer good and as a democratic tool in the public sphere.

Mette Marie Roslyng - Dept. of Communication and Psychology, University of Aalborg, Denmark
Medie Kultur - Journal of media and communication research

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One


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