Journalism.co.uk reports on the discussion at the Westminster Media Forum where the issue of regulation is on the table. According to Sven Egil Omdal, CEO of Norway’s Aftenbladet multi media there are a bunch of buccaneer online producers who are making life tricky for the mainstream media:
“There are so many websites that fall outside the jurisdiction of the press council that, when a story breaks, the mainstream media sticks to the code of practice but as soon as the public is aware that a story is out they go hunting for the pictures or additional material on blogs, community forums with links, and websites,” he later told Journalism.co.uk.
“There is a two-tier system now with a mainstream media that sticks to the rules and a growing number of outlets that don’t.”
The upshot of this behaviour is that the nature of the material that was getting through on the web would lead to Governments regulation. And that is bad news for the mainstream media.
By way of an example, Omdal used the recent ’happy slap’ legislation by the French that “would make it illegal for non-professionals to transmit pictures of violence”. And here’s where it lost me a bit.
What Omdal seems to be saying is that the mainstream media want the content, so don’t let government legislate against the content. Instead legislate against the competition please.
Or am I reading that wrong?