Earlier this year, Professor the Baroness Deech of Cumnor DBE – who was Gresham Professor of Law between 2008 and 2012 – gave a series of lectures entitled “Regulation, Regulation, Regulation”, two of which pertain to the BBC.
Both lectures are fascinating and insightful, raising questions about the BBC complaints system and suggesting proposals for its reformation which BBC Watch readers may find interesting.
The first lecture (April 11th, 2012) is entitled “The BBC – Protecting it from the Government” and can be heard or read here.
“For 80 years the BBC Governors were charged with regulating the BBC and representing the interests of the licence fee payers. The Governors appointed the Director-General, approved strategy, oversaw complaints and were accountable to Parliament. Did they fail in their task when, in the wake of the Hutton Report into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly, the Chairman, the Director-General and the broadcaster Andrew Gilligan left their posts in 2004? The governance of the BBC has to ensure that the management deliver impartiality and accuracy without concern for any government agenda.”
The second lecture (April 25th, 2012) is entitled “The BBC – Defending the Public Interest” and can be heard or read here.
“From 2007 the Governors were replaced by Trustees; but there was still disquiet about the best method of regulating the BBC. BBC regulation is fragmented: some regulatory functions rest with OFCOM, and the National Audit Office investigates some financial matters. It is said that the Trust cannot be both a champion of the licence fee payers and of the BBC management. Should regulation of the BBC be wholly external to it? Is OFCOM any better placed to defend public service broadcasting than the Trust? The BBC World Service is a vital accurate news source for many parts of the world: is it better placed under the control of the BBC or the Foreign Office?”