John Cleese Calls for U.K. Law Against Media Concentration
The actor and more than 100 British personalities say in an open letter that "a handful of media corporations and individuals continue to have considerable power over our news."
John Cleese and other U.K. personalities in an open letter on Wednesday called on political parties in Britain to commit to a new law that would ensure media plurality.
"If democracy is to flourish, we will need diverse and independent voices in the media," the letter, published in The Guardian, said. "Yet media concentration in Britain remains at worrying levels and, despite what we have learned over the last few years, a handful of media corporations and individuals continue to have considerable power over our news, cultural life and access to information."
The letter added: "There is a danger that the increasingly digital media environment could well increase this risk." The group's website features further arguments supporting its call to action.
Other signees include comedian Frankie Boyle and Nick Davies, the Guardian journalist who broke the News Corp phone-hacking stories that led to the scandal and shutdown of the News of the World. Overall, more than 100 personalities from the worlds of entertainment, journalism and academia signed the letter.
The letter called on all British parties involved in the general election this spring "to include a manifesto commitment to new legislation to prevent damaging media concentration and to encourage a more plural media at both national and local levels."