BBC: the licence fee is a small price to pay for a service that unites the UK

23 02 2020

Anyone who owns a television set in the UK is obliged, by law, to pay a licence fee which has always enabled the BBC to exist as an independent entity. But a recent Sunday Times article (paywalled) has announced the UK government’s intention to abolish the BBC licence fee. Read the rest of this entry »





The BBC, Bias and Brexit – Julian Petley

9 02 2020

The BBC had a poor election and a poor Brexit, being accused of political bias by both Left and Right, both Leave and Remain. It tends to respond in such circumstances that this shows that it has got the political balance of its coverage about right. Read the rest of this entry »





After the licence fee: The case for a Universal Media Levy – Tom Chivers

21 01 2020

One month on from the UK’s 2019 general election and it is clear that the BBC is hurtling towards an existential crisis. On top of widespread accusations of news bias and editorial failure, the government is now considering whether to decriminalise non-payment of the television Licence Fee, the public broadcaster’s main source of income. Read the rest of this entry »





What Boris Johnson’s election win means for British broadcasting – Kerry Traynor

30 12 2019

No sooner had the ballots closed than Boris Johnson’s new government was advancing and accelerating its attack on public service broadcasting, threatening to decriminalise nonpayment of the licence fee, boycott the BBC’s flagship Today programme and review the remit of Channel 4. Read the rest of this entry »





How to spot fake news this election – Amy Binns

12 12 2019

The 2019 UK election campaign has been particularly dispiriting for anyone who cares about the truth. Even established parties have proven they are not above using tricks to manipulate the news. Meanwhile, politicians are quick to shout “fake news” about anything they disagree with, even accurate stories. Read the rest of this entry »





What role will broadcasting law continue to play in elections? – Jacob Rowbottom

21 11 2019

In recent elections, the legal framework for regulating campaigns has come under considerable strain. The rules were built around a system in which national campaign communications were mainly carried through the broadcast and print media. The last comprehensive reform of election finance law was enacted in 2000. The framework left a number of old problems unresolved, such as the role of big donors. Read the rest of this entry »





Media regulation : Ofcom set to examine BBC Panorama anti-Semitism programme. Paddy French

8 11 2019

Which is the more professional broadcaster when it comes to investigative reporting — the BBC or Al Jazeera? That’s the intriguing question that’s going to be answered by Ofcom’s forthcoming ruling on the BBC Panorama programme Is Labour Anti-Semitic? In January 2017. Read the rest of this entry »





BBC Panorama on anti-semitism: a catalogue of reporting failures – Media Reform Coalition

12 08 2019

The BBC transmitted an edition of Panorama on 10 July called ‘Is Labour Anti-Semitic?’, presented by John Ware. It contained allegations that senior Labour figures close to Jeremy Corbyn had interfered with the internal investigations process and that the Party was insufficiently committed to tackling anti-semitism within its own ranks. Read the rest of this entry »





The Jeremy Kyle affair: Four things you need to know – Trevor Barnes and Meriem Anou

26 05 2019

ITV‘s decision to permanently suspend the production of The Jeremy Kyle Show is making headlines. However, this should not come as a surprise given recent controversies surrounding duty of care issues in reality television programmes. Ofcom and MPs must tread very carefully in proposing new duty of care obligations on broadcasters to look after adult contributors. Read the rest of this entry »





The Cliff Richard judgment in perspective – Nathan Capone

10 09 2018

Much discussion has inevitably followed in the wake of the Cliff Richard judgment, often taking polarising viewpoints. Privacy advocates hailed the judgment as a further watershed for individuals’ privacy rights whereas many in the press decried it as serious limitation on the ability to report on suspected criminality. Read the rest of this entry »