The psyche of leaders of the Labour party is often moulded by their treatment at the hands of journalists. Jeremy Corbyn is in that respect no different from his predecessors. However, no leader has been in charge of the party when the influence of the traditional media has been so low. The internet is used by people for news far more than newspapers and radio. Social media is the most popular source of online news. Mr Corbyn is well aware of the reach and influence of social media – his party produces slick videos that are instant hits online. So it is surprising that in his speech at the Edinburgh TV festival on the media, the biggest questions on the subject are conspicuous by their absence.Mr Corbyn did offer some interesting and useful suggestions. There’s a good case for strengthening the Freedom of Information Act by ending ministerial vetoes. Giving charitable status to local newspapers is an idea worth pursuing. Reducing the licence fee for poorer households makes sense too. These, significantly, are subjects the prime minister is silent on. But Mr Corbyn did not tackle the dysfunction of the current media market, which is dominated by two giant tech firms – Google and Facebook. While the BBC is an important part of the debate, positing it as a counter to Big Tech is flawed. As a former director of BBC news admitted, it could never have run the Edward Snowden story.Mr Corbyn does understand that digital disruption comes in many forms and sucks revenues out of print. But the Labour leader’s idea that “a windfall tax on the digital monopolies” could “create a public interest media fund” is flawed. True, France and Belgium did so. Yet social media companies paid up because they feared an EU competition investigation. They were right to worry. Google has been hit with fines totalling ￡6bn in the past 18 months. If Mr Corbyn wanted to take on tech giants then he could back staying in partnership with the EU’s competition di时时彩智能软件制作教程 rectorate.Then there is the issue of “fake news”. Mr Corbyn should have addressed the subject much more substantially than he did in his speech. A parliamentary committee said last month that fake news and the targeting of hyper-partisan views on social media put democracy at risk. Mr Corbyn could have endorsed what MPs recommended: that social networks should be legally responsible for harmful and illegal content on their platforms, and regulators should undertake an audit of the entire social media advertising industry. It was disappointing instead that he chose to attack newspapers, which, he said, people thought “churn out fake news day in, day out”. Mr Corbyn is seen as an heir to Michael Foot. After Mr Foot’s Labour suffered its 1983 defeat he remained in “favour of protecting our newspapers, because I believe they are essential to the maintenance of our general freedom”. Mr Foot faced a vitriolic media campaign against him but it did not define his outlook on the media. Mr Corbyn ought not to let theheadlines he garners define his policy either.