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Mass Media: Education

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 2288, tabled on 17 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what additional resources he plans to provide to Ofcom to (a) commission and (b) encourage educational initiatives to increase media literacy as outlined in clause 11 of the Online Safety Bill.

Answered on

20 May 2021

Clause 103 of the draft Online Safety Bill, which the government published on 12 May, would extend Ofcom’s existing statutory duty to promote media literacy which is set out in section 11 of the Communications Act 2003. The amended duty includes specifying that Ofcom must carry out, commission or encourage educational initiatives designed to improve the media literacy of members of the public. It also applies the duty in relation to online safety.

Government is working closely with Ofcom to ensure that, through the proportionate and differentiated fees to industry, the annual operating costs of the online harms regime are recovered. As set out in the draft Online Safety Bill, the cost of any activities undertaken by Ofcom in the course of carrying out their regulatory responsibilities can be recharged to industry; this will include costs relating to the media literacy function as it applies to online safety.

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