The challenges of a shifting TV landscape will be discussed by television executives at this year's RTS Cambridge Convention, chaired by BBC Director-General Tony Hall.
Culture secretaries tend to come and go with some frequency – but not hours before they are due to address the RTS Cambridge Convention. On the first day of the Convention, Oliver Dowden was shifted sideways in Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle and replaced by former Health and Social Care minister and I’m a Celebrity… contestant Nadine Dorries.
The minister for media and data, John Whittingdale, generously answered a last-minute call to appear by video link to read Dowden’s speech and answer questions from the Convention floor.
John Whittingdale delivered the evening’s speech on behalf of Oliver Dowden, who has a new role.
As this RTS exploration of powerful moments in TV political interviews unfolded, it quickly became clear just how extraordinary 2020 has been, even in an era of jaw-dropping statements from politicians and startling TV encounters.
ITV News’ Tom Bradby joins John Whittingdale MP, broadcaster, journalist and political commentator Ayesha Hazarika and writer and director Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty, Bodyguard) to discuss their top political moments across the decades
John Whittingdale, MP, Minister of State for Media and Data, speaking at an RTS event said that in the 1980s ITV’s Brian Walden would devote all his hour-long programme to a set-piece interview with a senior politician.
“Several times I helped Margaret Thatcher prepare for a Walden interview,” he recalled. “We don’t have that in-depth interview any longer.
Robinson, a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, argued for “impartiality as a legal requirement for television news”. Without it, as in the US where “right wingers watch Fox News and liberals watch MSNBC”, he continued, “there are no shared facts. Good public policy decision-making requires shared facts.”
“What Facebook does, and what separate news channels for different opinions do, is give people the possibility to have their own facts,” added Robinson, a former political editor at both ITV News and the BBC.
Ofcom built its reputation as a high-powered competition and market-oriented communications regulator. It is capable of facing down telecoms titans, mobile-merger tycoons and the ambitious Murdoch family.
But, as it starts the run-up to becoming the BBC’s first external regulator, it faces the need to change its culture and skills base.
The BBC holds a Royal Charter which sets out its rules and its roles; however the current Royal Charter expires at the end of the year and hence needs to be renewed.
The government launched a public consultation into the role that the BBC should play going forward following the publication of a Green Paper.
The Culture Secretary John Whittingdale who is in charge of overseeing charter renewal has now unveiled the content of the BBC White Paper.