Exam date

When's the 2016 exam? Wednesday 8th June, am.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Jubilee/BJohnson: press reg better than TV

A brief post for now, with what I think could be a very useful point to help balance up the line of argument in your essays away from just 'PCC bad, OfCom good/strong'.
In a recent post (I'll add links later) I cited the case of Boris Johnson, recently re-elected Mayor of London: leaked documents appear to show his office bullying the BBC into not running material which would have harmed his reputation (and electoral chances). Could the 'free press' be bullied in this way? (okay, so they do it the other way round by bullying politicians!) The point is negated somewhat, though, by the nature of the BBC: partially self-regulated, partially regulated by OfCom.
A rather more controversial argument, but one thats been popping up all over the press in recent weeks: why are the BBC dropping their legal requirement to deliver balanced, unbiased news coverage when it comes to the Jubilee celebrations? They've screened a series of programmes which are simple celebrations of the monarch and the hereditary monarchical system (notably at a time when the coalition government has been discussing abolishing the remaining hereditary, inherited seats in the House of Lords), and could easily have been produced by the royal family's own media operations. Where's the enforcement of the BBC's constitution here? Is this being done as the BBC are vulnerable to government pressure (the BBC may self-regulate, but its the government that sets the license-fee level, and can at any time privatise the BBC or set limits on what the BBC can cover - eg, there have been discussions about banning the BBC from bidding for sports rights or overseas programmes).
Peter Wilby has repeatedly addressed this in the Guardian, but there have been a variety of articles elsewhere too - I'll add later

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