Ofcom

Lenny Henry blasts Ofcom 'Fake Diversity' targets

Speaking at an event at the Houses of Parliament earlier this week, RTS Fellow Lenny Henry criticised new Ofcom diversity targets which only focus on those in-front of the camera, saying that it would promote “fake diversity”.

In the speech, attended by members of parliament, the public and representatives of the broadcast industry, he argued that the regulator should also require the BBC to report on the number of BAME staff working behind the scenes.

Regulating the BBC: A tough job for Ofcom

As Sir David Clementi begins his work as the first Chair of the “unitary board” that he recommended to run the BBC, is he having second thoughts about his other big piece of advice – that Ofcom should regulate the BBC?

It was Clementi’s report, published one year ago and largely adopted by the Government, that suggested scrapping the BBC Trust. The idea was to replace it with a single board. Meanwhile, for the first time in the BBC’s history, an external body would regulate the corporation.

Was 2016 TV's defining year for diversity?

For many people who believe in diverse, multiracial societies, 2016 was a year of profound political setbacks. But, paradoxically, it may also go down as the year in which British television finally embraced real and permanent change in how it deals with diversity.

As we begin a new year, many influential voices are convinced that TV’s decision-makers are now determined to move towards a genuinely diverse workforce. They also hope to see big improvements in the on-screen ­representation of people from marginalised groups.

Ofcom report reveals changing attitude to racist language

Ofcom's Sharon White at the RTS Cambridge Convention 2015 (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

The research found that viewers and listeners are now less tolerant of racist or discriminatory language, but generally more tolerant about other offensive language, such as swear words, than they were in the last study in 2010.

Ofcom found that the context of the language used is crucial. Viewers or listeners are more likely to tolerate bad language if it “reflects what they would expect to see in ‘real world’ situations.”

Ofcom: the BBC's first external regulator

Ofcom's Sharon White at the RTS Cambridge Convention 2015 (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

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.

Who should keep the BBC honest?

There is no need to hire Nostradamus to predict what BBC governance will look like in the future. What had been the most likely outcome became a racing certainty after the publication of the Clementi report in March. It should be officially confirmed when culture secretary John Whittingdale publishes the white paper on the renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter, due later this month.

As Sir David Clementi, the former Chair of Prudential, made clear in his consultation paper, there were only three possible models for future BBC governance and regulation.

UK leads in on demand viewing

Channel four, All 4, On demand, catch up,

Live television remains the most popular way of watching TV in the UK despite a large drop of 4.9% in 2013-14, research by Ofcom shows.

As many as 70% (31m) of UK adults will be watching on demand television this month from free-to-air providers such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4. This figure places the UK ahead of all other major European countries, as well as big TV consuming nations Australia, Japan and the USA.