PSB

Small Beer or Big Deal: Should we still care about PSB?

With Ofcom’s ‘Small Screen: Big Debate’ consultation on the future of public service broadcasting (PSB) having just closed, and the DCMS Select Committee having just published its report on the future of PSB, an expert panel takes a look at what kind of PSB system we want over the next decade.

Speakers:

Jennifer Anafi-Acquah, Assistant Producer

Emily Bell, Founding Director and Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism, Tow Center for Digital Journalism

David Mortimer, Managing Director, STV Studios

Small beer or big deal - should we still care about PSB?

We will look at the main recommendations from Ofcom and the Select Committee, including the proposal to recast PSB as “public service media” that is delivered online as well as on TV. We will explore the role of PSB in a world of Netflix, YouTube and social media; and examine how public service media can remain relevant to young and diverse audiences. And we will ask “what does good look like” for PSB in the future?

Speakers:

Jennifer Anafi-Acquah, Assistant Producer

Ofcom: In the eye of the storm

This was always going to be a big year for Ofcom. Its to-do list for 2020 includes: overhauling the telecoms market and upgrading the UK’s broadband network; a major review of public service broadcasting and its future in the face of changing technology and audience habits and huge global competition; tackling both “online harm” and industry diversity issues; updating EU “audio-visual services” rules post Brexit; and, as the BBC’s regulator, trying to sharpen the corporation’s performance and decision-making.

Our friend in the West

Ron Jones

One of the best contributions to the issue of the public purposes of the BBC was written almost 20 years ago by a then-future Chair of the BBC Board of Governors, Gavyn Davies.

He wrote: “Some form of market failure must lie at the heart of any concept of public service broadcasting. Beyond simply using the catchphrase that public service broadcasting must ‘inform, educate and entertain’, we must add ‘inform, educate and entertain in a way that the private sector, left unregulated, would not do’. Otherwise, why not leave matters entirely to the private sector?”

Is Channel 4 for sale?

When Ofcom holds its final board meeting of 2015 in December, it will have a list of the candidates competing to be the next Chair of Channel 4. At the top of the list will be Mark Price, outgoing Chief Executive of Waitrose and Deputy Chair of John Lewis.

The advert for the post – a hugely sensitive one, as the Government explores the possibility of selling off Channel 4 – was hurried out on 10 October by favoured headhunter Dom Loehnis of Egon Zehnder, with a closing date of 16 November.