The House of Lords is due to debate the Media Bill at second reading on 28 February 2024. 

The bill would update the regulatory framework governing public service broadcasting, on-demand programme services and commercial radio in the UK. It would do so principally by amending the Broadcasting Act 1990, the Broadcasting Act 1996 and the Communications Act 2003. The government has indicated that many of the proposed changes are to take account of technological developments, changes in viewing habits and other developments in the media landscape over the more than 20 years since the 2003 act became law. 

The bill would also repeal section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 relating to the regulation of news publishers, which has not yet been commenced. Repeal of this provision was a Conservative manifesto commitment at the 2019 general election. 

The bill overall received cross-party support in the House of Commons. A series of technical government amendments were made at both committee and report stage. Divisions took place on opposition amendments and proposed new clauses at both stages, although all were defeated. 

The bill comprises 56 clauses, organised in seven parts, with 12 schedules. The government has published explanatory notes, a delegated powers memorandum, a human rights memorandum and a series of other documents alongside the bill, including a number of impact assessments on different elements of the proposed legislation. 

Broadcasting and internet services policy are reserved matters and the bill would apply UK-wide, except for the repeal of section 40 of the 2013 act which would only apply to England and Wales. 


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