Steve Hewlett

Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture 2017

Steve Hewlett, the distinguished media commentator and programme maker, passed away on 20 February this year after a very public battle with cancer.  He lived his last days through memorable encounters with Eddie Mair on PM and BBC Radio Four and his cancer diary in the Observer.

His good friend Nick Robinson, BBC Radio Four Today presenter and former Political Editor for the BBC, will give the inaugural Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture on 28 September at the University of Westminster.

Mark Thompson discusses the risks facing the UK media landscape at the Steve Hewlett Lecture

Mark Thompson (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

The UK is facing “a total loss of cultural sovereignty”, which risks leaving the country culturally impoverished unless action is taken to stop US giants such as Netflix from dominating the media landscape.

This was the frank message from Mark Thompson, the former Director-General of the BBC who, for seven years since 2012, has been engaged in a wholesale transformation of The New York Times from a print company into a digital-based global news operation with 5 million subscribers.

Mark Thompson warns government policies endanger the BBC at the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture

Mark Thompson, President and CEO of The New York Times Company (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Giving the third Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture at London’s Westminster University, he accused policy makers of largely concentrating “on tightening the funding pressure and other constraints on the BBC further” including “the disastrous withdrawal of funding free licence fees for the over 75’s” agreed in the 2016 Charter now coming into full effect.  

Charlotte Moore's Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture | Full Video

BBC Director of Content, Charlotte Moore, delivers the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture 2018, a joint initiative by the RTS and the Media Society.

Moore talked of the threat to British content for British audiences with the rise in popularity of US streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, and spoke of the key ways the BBC will aim to promote content bespoke to Britain in the future.

To donate to the Steve Hewlett Memorial Fund, please visit www.rts.org.uk/SteveHewlettFund.

BBC's Charlotte Moore highlights the importance of British TV at the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture

Delivering the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture, Moore echoed recent remarks made by BBC Director General, Tony Hall, in which he called for more funding for the BBC or investment in U.K. programmes would fall still further.

“In this new, US-dominated media environment, we run the risk of seeing fewer and fewer distinctively British stories.

“In a world of incredible, unprecedented choice, the irony is that British audiences may find it harder and harder to choose the stories that matter to them most,” said Moore.

Nick Robinson discusses the challenges facing journalism at the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture

If traditional broadcasters are to thrive in an era of social media they need to emulate some of the best qualities of Steve Hewlett’s journalism. That was the essence of the first Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture, given by BBC broadcaster Nick Robinson, a friend and colleague of Hewlett’s.

Robinson outlined the challenges facing BBC News and other traditional news broadcasters in a heartfelt talk delivered to a packed auditorium at London’s University of Westminster.

Stewart Purvis takes on the Great North Run for Steve Hewlett Memorial Fund

The former Chief Executive of ITN and Ofcom regulator made the decision to take part in the Great North Run on what would have been Hewlett's 59th birthday.

He said of his decision, “It seemed the perfect moment to confirm I was going to do it. I have shaken off a few injuries, which I picked-up during training and I will definitely get round the half marathon course."