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NMA Welcomes Culture Secretary’s comments on Stronger Exemptions

The News Media Association has welcomed the commitments this week from the Culture Secretary to strengthen the exemption for news publishers’ content in the Online Safety Bill.

NMA Welcomes Culture Secretary’s comments on Stronger Exemptions
Owen Meredith: “The exemption is required to ensure access to trusted news and information online.” Photograph: Marcin Nowak on Unsplash.

The commitments will improve “the requirements for platforms not to remove content from recognised media outlets” - in line with recommendations from the Joint Committee on the draft Online Safety Bill and the DCMS Select Committee.

The revised Bill will be published today (Thursday 17 March). While the necessary amendments have yet to be made to the Bill, says the NMA, Nadine Dorries has acknowledged the need to further strengthen the recognised publishers exemption during the passage of the Bill. In a press release announcing the publication of the Bill, DCMS said: “News content will be completely exempt from any regulation under the Bill”…. “Ministers will also continue to consider how to ensure platforms do not remove content from recognised media outlets.”

Responding to the publication of the Bill, NMA chief executive Owen Meredith said: “The NMA and our members have consistently stressed the importance of a robust, watertight and workable exemption for news publisher content from the new regime to crack down on online harms.

“The exemption is required to ensure access to trusted news and information online and that journalism does not become subject to additional unnecessary layers of regulation which would have disastrous consequences for freedom of speech.

“We are pleased that the government has listened to these concerns and confirmed it will address them by bringing forward further measures during the passage of the Bill. It is vital these commitments translate into a robust and workable exemption on the face of the Bill at the earliest possible opportunity.

“We will monitor the progress of the Bill closely as it makes its passage through Parliament.”


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