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About Lis Howell

Professor Lis Howell is Director of Broadcasting in the Journalism Department at City University London. She was Head of News at Border Television and won a Royal Television Society award for leading the coverage of the Lockerbie disaster.

Articles by Lis Howell

This week’s front page editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

MyBBC: the problem with one to one news

The BBC’s vision of a ‘personalised’ news service, allowing the user to filter bulletins according to their interests, is at odds with the corporation’s public purpose.  

The Whittingdale Eight: war or wisdom for the BBC?

The government has set up an advisory panel for its review of the BBC Charter. So who will be leading this process? And how should the corporation approach the coming debate?     

The BBC's imaginary crossroads

Tony Hall’s speech on March 2 was full of invented threats. This was a denial of the imminent need for change: the BBC needs rivals and the UK needs more voices. 

Less velvet glove, more iron fist

The new Chair of the BBC Trust Rona Fairhead has given her first public speech which was widely reviewed. Now the dust has settled – but what did Rona say, and more importantly, what did she really mean? 

To be or not to be – Diana Coyle as the next BBC Trust Chair?

Diana Coyle has the brains and clear-sightedness to be what the BBC needs next.

A tale of two Jeremys - the boys' club at the BBC

Jeremy Paxman and Jeremy Clarkson have nothing in common - apart from being from the same tiny minority of white public school educated men who dominate the BBC.

The lesser (and longer) decriminalisation story: avoiding the 'go to gaol' card

Lis Howell tours the horizon looking at how public (non-commercial) broadcasting is funded round the world to ask: how should we pay for the Beeb without getting a go-to-gaol card? Read the options and vote on the solution.

Over by Christmas – the non-debate that is BBC Charter renewal

Who is talking about BBC Charter renewal? Relatively few people. And it’s not too soon to start.

Tony Hall's speech didn't answer any of the real questions

The new BBC Director General gave a speech last week, in which he talked about "What Next?" - or, rather, he didn't really, says Lis Howell.

The new OurBeeb

Tony Hall, the new Director General of the BBC, has given a speech outlining his vision for the organisation he leads. Here, openDemocracy re-opens OurBeeb - a space to discuss all matters related to this vast British institution.

The insidious effects of trolling women on the TV and radio in the UK

Somehow society must come to terms with this problem and start thinking of ways to address it. It doesn't only demean the women in question, it degrades us all and cheapens the public sphere.

Forget long term strategy, the BBC needs to fix the 'now'

In the second of her 'On broadcasting' column, Lis Howell argues that the BBC urgently needs to put its house in order before turning to the big political issues of 2017. The licence fee and new technology aren’t necessarily the big issues - the real crisis is about management and the alienation of young people and young talent.

Hello James Harding, the new head of BBC News

News is the most vulnerable area for the BBC. Some advice to James Harding as he starts his job: decentralise, but don’t encourage silos. Here’s how. The first of the 'Lis Howell on Broadcasting' columns. 

Jimmy Savile and why the BBC must change

The UK's Jimmy Savile scandal is hugely important. The most popular working class hero is now revealed to be a serial rapist and child-abuser. Yet he was turned into a 'national treasure' by the BBC, which of all the UK's institutions prides itself on 'knowing better'. What was going on? 

OurBeeb forum session 1: funding and the licence fee

On 31 October 2012, OurBeeb held a day-forum at King’s College London to discuss the future of the BBC. Full audio and video highlights start with a discussion between David Elstein and Lis Howell on how to fund public service broadcasting. 

Wait! Leveson must delay his report on the UK press

Lord Justice Leveson's public inquiry into UK press standards is about to report. But the unfolding crisis shaking the BBC will muddy the waters. This is a call for delay.

How much do journalism students know about who runs the BBC?

Deputy Head of Broadcasting at City University's famous journalism school Lis Howell interrogates her postgraduate students about the DG race, and suggests that if the brightest talent in the country know and care as little as they do about it, then there's something wrong with the process

At last regional news is sexy!

British local media is in trouble, we need a much more lively and intelligent approach than just government cuts and schemes imported from the US

Women at the Public Service Broadcasting Forum

Lis Howell reflects on gender balance at the recent Public Service Broadcasting Forum
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