Ofcom: “We’ll not surround BBC in red tape”

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Ofcom will take regulation charge of the BBC – making it the first independent, external regulator of the BBC.

It will takeover powers from the BBC Trust from Monday 3rd April. In a speech by Sharon White to the Nations & Regions Media Conference, Salford, she said, “For the first time, one regulator will oversee the whole UK broadcasting industry. One set of programme standards will apply to each broadcaster. This will give confidence to audiences, who sit at the heart of our broadcasting regulation. And we believe that the BBC – with its proud heritage of public service, independent of Government and commercial interests – will be stronger under the watch of an equally independent, external regulator.”

White added that Ofcom’s role to regulate the BBC will be to look at three various aspects including:
– Look into complaints by the public
– Protect competition in the market
– Ensure BBC’s TV & radio output remains distinctive

White said, “Ofcom’s job is not to assess the merits of individual programmes. We will not surround the BBC in red tape, hamper its creative freedom, or interfere in its commissioning, scheduling or programme making. But we will ensure that each of the BBC’s channels, stations and services provides something different. Taken overall, each one should offer content and character that distinguishes itself from what’s available from commercial rivals. The BBC will publish its creative plan before the summer, explaining how it will provide high-quality, distinctive programmes across genres and services. We will then revise our framework to reflect the BBC’s commitments.”

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