Media Freedom and Regualtion

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try in conjunction with the Department of Culture, Media and Sports to come up with a White paper in 1998 which proposed the creation of a single super-regulatory body that would consolidate the powers and functions of all existing regulatory bodies, merging in effect the operations of such bodies into it. After extensive consultations conducted by the government on these proposals, the Office of Communications Act of 2002 was passed by Parliament finally making possible the creation of that regulatory body. A year later, the Communications Act of 2003 laid down in detail the powers and functions of OFCOM. The obvious advantage that OFCOM brought to UK broadcasting is that it has made simple and clearer communications regulations as it becomes the one single repository of communications authority, in addition to the comparatively efficient savings in costs that a single operating agency result as opposed to the total sum of costs of five different regulating bodies operating at once.Any discussion of UK broadcasting will not be complete without knowledge of its historical beginnings and thus, this paper will begin by tracing the history of UK broadcasting which is really synonymous with the birth of BBC to the present age of digital media. This is necessary to explain the unique status of UK broadcasting in the world, the enviable position of BBC in UK broadcasting and the sticky issue as to why even super-regulatory body OFCOM cannot completely placed BBC under its total remit. Likewise, it will provide a backdrop to the inevitability of creating a single regulatory body and provide a contrast to regulation pre-OFCOM and after OFCOM. It will then discuss OFCOM in detail, outlining its creation, nature, powers and functions after which the paper will attempt to delve on the accomplishments that OFCOM has, so far, brought into the UK broadcasting landscape. Thereafter, the paper will also consider what it sees as lapses or shortcomings in OFCOM operations in its