Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom

Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom
   The CPBF was formed in 1979 as a broad-based organization that campaigns for a democratic and accountable media. The term is widely defined including the traditional press and broadcast media but also extending to cable and satellite and newer forms of information dissemination. It argues in favour of diversity and plurality rather than established concepts of impartiality and balance in broadcasting and objectivity in newspapers. At the heart of its programme in relation to broadcasting is a commitment to the concept of public service broadcasting, which the CPBF argues should be extended to all broadcast output. As an unfunded pressure group, it relies on subscriptions and donations from its members (approximately 1,500) and affiliated groups such as trade unions and other supportive groups. The CPBF have centred their campaign on the right to reply, media ownership and journalistic standards and ethics, although specific campaigns have also been launched in areas as diverse as racism and democracy. In addition to producing literature, books and other material, CPBF also publishes a bi-monthly magazine Free Press which provides excellent updates and commentary on related issues. As part of its campaign to monitor press coverage in election years, CPBF encourage members to take part in ‘Electionwatch’. The Campaign’s view is that the media should reflect diversity and not be dominated by any single party or view.
   The upshot of much of the research and dissemination of information by the CPBF is to provoke debate and discussion, and it has achieved some success in this way via lobbying activities. Another crucial part of CPBF activities has been raising awareness by holding conferences on topical issues; for example a 1997 conference on racism in the media to tie in with the European Year against Racism. The Campaign is crucially aware of the importance of technological change to the distribution of material through the ‘information superhighway’, and it has produced a Media Manifesto, 21st Century Media: Shaping the Democratic Vision.
   Further reading
    Williams, G. (1996) Britain’s Media: How They are Related (available from CPBF, this provides an excellent analysis of ‘the media revolution’ and useful discussion on areas such as media control and ownership).

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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