On 8 April 2013, an “early day motion” was tabled in the UK Parliament signed by 17 MPs so far expressing concern over recent legislation that gagged civil society groups may have implications for media plurality.

The legislation referred to limits the extent to which civil society groups can campaign on issues of general interest during election years. It does not limit corporate lobbying, but rather limits the amount that charities and non-profits are allowed to spend on campaigning. Any amount spent beyond these limits would have to be registered with The Electoral Commission, which would oversee and control the finances. The limit in England is set at £20000 a year, while Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are limited to £10000 a year, including staff costs.

The early morning motion criticises the way marginal groups and minorities are misrepresented by these mainstream dominant media outlets.  It calls for action to be taken to protect the possibility for a plurality of independent voices.

This initiative echoes arguments made by the civil society and individual behind the European Citizens Initiative on media pluralism aimed at spurring the EU to action on the issue and the efforts of the UK Coalition on Media Pluralism, which will hold an event together with some of the motions sponsors in Parliament on 28 April.

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