NMA Welcomes Culture Secretary Commitments To Stronger News Publisher Exemptions In Online Safety Bill

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 to improve “the requirements for platforms not to remove content from recognised media outlets.”

While the amendments to strengthen the exemption have yet to be made to the Bill, which will be published today, Nadine Dorries MP has acknowledged the need to further strengthen the recognised publishers exemption during the passage of the Bill.

In their reports, the Joint Committee on the draft Online Safety Bill and the DCMS Select Committee both recommended that the exemption be strengthened.

In a press release announcing the publication of the Bill, DCMS said:  “News content will be completely exempt from any regulation under the Bill,”  adding that, “Ministers will also continue to consider how to ensure platforms do not remove content from recognised media outlets.”

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.”