Statement on future of the BBC
On 7 September 2015 IAMCR issued the following public statement on the future of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The statement was agreed by the IAMCR Clearinghouse on Public Statements and issued by IAMCR’s President. A response sent from the office of the Prime Minister on 15 September said the "correspondence is currently under consideration."
At the request of the Chair of the British House of Lords Select Committee on Communications, IAMCR submitted written evidence to the committee's inquiry into the BBC Charter Renewal on October 5, 2015. Read more and download the IAMCR submission.
IAMCR Public Statement on the Future of the British Broadcasting Corporation
The International Association for Media and Communication Research - IAMCR - is the preeminent worldwide professional organisation in the field of media and communication research. Its members promote global inclusiveness and excellence within the best traditions of critical scholarship in the field.
IAMCR aims to support and develop media and communication research throughout the world. It particularly encourages the participation of emerging scholars, women and those from economically disadvantaged regions. IAMCR was founded in 1957, has members in more than 100 countries and its annual conference in July 2015 in Montreal attracted 1,300 registered participants.
- IAMCR expresses its concern that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is facing accumulated cuts that could amount to nearly 40 per cent of its budget. This is a result of British Government decisions taken in 2010 and, more recently, in July 2015; various forms of amelioration were also proposed by Government.
- IAMCR notes the social, political and cultural importance of public service broadcasting, considered as a key and desirable feature for democratic nation states and the positive role played by the BBC in working to establish standards of universality, impartiality, independence and integrity in its programme-making. Public trust in the accuracy of news and in the inclusiveness and diversity of programming relies upon the adequacy of public funding made available to support these services.
- Independent and trusted public media have played a key role in the development of democracy and in the transition from endemic violence to negotiated peace settlements in many parts of the world. Throughout the crises and conflicts of the last 75 years, the BBC – for all its faults – has served as both a beacon and a promise of change. We hope that wise government will ensure that the BBC continues to serve as a benchmark for excellence beyond the United Kingdom and as a voice for citizen empowerment.
Professor Janet Wasko
7 September 2015
References and Background Information for the Statement
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (2010) Letter to the Chairman of the BBC Trust, October.
Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (2015) Letter to the Director General of the BBC, 3 July.
Department for Culture, Media and Sport (2015) UK Government consultation on the future of the BBC, the ‘Green Paper’, July 16.
Smith, E. (2012) A Road Map to Public Service Broadcasting. Kuala Lumpur: The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.
This statement has been agreed by the IAMCR Clearinghouse on Public Statements and is issued by IAMCR’s President.
Further information can be found at the following links:
- A link to the House of Lords Report on the BBC published in February of this year (2016): http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldselect/ldcomuni/96/9602.htm
- A record of all written evidence received by the Lords Communications Committee for this inquiry: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/communications-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/bbc-charter-renewal/bbc-charter-renewal-public-purposes-and-licence-fee-publications/
- A link to the IAMCR evidence at: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/communications-committee/bbc-charter-renewal-public-purposes-and-licence-fee/written/22346.html
- Press Release from the UK's Voice of the Listener & Viewer (VLV) on the Government's White Paper on the BBC, WP published on 12 May 2016: http://www.vlv.org.uk/vlv-news/whitepapernewsrelease2016.html