Ofcom

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.

In pictures: RTS Cambridge Convention 2015

The RTS Cambridge Convention 2015 took place from Wednesday 16 to Friday 18 September, seeing senior leaders from the television industry on both sides of the Atlantic converge on the city. 

The topics covered over the three days ranged from the importance of the BBC worldwide, to a debate about the lessons learnt from the General Election 2015, to the continued challenge that the television industry faces with the rise of video content emerging on digital platforms. 

Profile: John Whittingdale

John Whittingdale

John Whittingdale is a conundrum. A politician who can seem old beyond his 55 years, he has been in Parliament since 1992, nine years longer than David Cameron. And, although only a few years older than his boss, Whittingdale’s style and political heritage are soundly late-Thatcher era, with a voting record that is pro-fox hunting and anti-gay marriage.

Yet, the freshly minted Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport also confounds stereotypes of the shire fogey with a mild interest in Gilbert and Sullivan.

TV diary: Peter Bazalgette

Peter Bazalgette

Apparently, I've not contributed a diary since 2010. Perhaps I only get invited in election years. In May 2010, I was also asked to review the different channels' election coverage by The Guardian.

On that occasion, I called it decisively for Sky News. ITN was fine but less dramatic. And the BBC, with its ship-of-fools party and an over-academic Vernon Bogdanor and a swingometer that couldn't cope with a three-way race and, and, and...

What the SNP's 'Team 56' means for broadcasting

BBC Scotland

With Team 56 – as SNP MPs call themselves – forming the third-largest party in Parliament, the impact on broadcasting in the UK is likely to be profound. And the effects are certain to spread beyond the BBC Charter debate.

The economist Jeremy Peat, a former BBC Scotland Governor and Trustee, observes that the general election outcome "represents a massive vote for change," requiring "not sticking plaster, but fundamental change." He adds: "We are miles away from a stable equilibrium."