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A roadmap for the BBC’s support of local journalism

Instead of strengthening the UK’s local news monopolies, here’s how the BBC could support civic journalism.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

A roadmap for the BBC’s support of local journalism

Instead of strengthening the UK’s local news monopolies, here’s how the BBC could support civic journalism.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Job: OurBeeb editor

openDemocracy is looking for a skilled editor to help shape a public debate about the future of the BBC. Application deadline: May 31st 10am (GMT)

The BBC has lost touch: here's how it could re-connect

A filmmaker advises BBC news staff on how to better engage with the harsh realities of life for many in Britain.

What would an autonomous BBC look like?

Proposals for a ‘unitary board’ represent a serious threat to the BBC’s independence. The corporation must use this Charter to reconfigure itself as a network, resilient to top-down interference. 

A roadmap for the BBC’s support of local journalism

Instead of strengthening the UK’s local news monopolies, here’s how the BBC could support civic journalism.

The BBC White Paper show

The run up to last week’s government white paper was filled with scare stories about a war against the BBC. The final document could scarcely have been more pleasing for the corporation.

Let’s not shatter the fragile ecology of British broadcasting

While the government's plans for the BBC are under scrutiny, the future of Britain's hugely successful system of public service broadcasting is at risk.

What does contestable funding mean for children's TV in Britain?

The government’s proposals for the BBC include creating a public service fund to prop up children’s content. 

Sharing the licence fee could reinvigorate the BBC

Yes, let's share the licence fee with producers outside of the BBC. But why not include news and bring British broadcasting into the 21st century?

Advertisers are celebrating the government's plans for the BBC

The BBC White Paper advances commercial interests to expand advertiser-supported media at the expense of the public’s wish for ad-free public broadcasting. 

What is the vision behind the BBC White Paper?

Listen to a discussion about the long-term implications of this week’s government White Paper on the future of the BBC. 

The BBC may soon be unable to compete

The requirement for output to be “distinctive”, coupled with the growth of media consortia, could force the BBC out of the game.

The BBC White Paper is a recipe for long-term decline

The government’s proposals would be a blow to both the BBC's freedom from government interference, and its place at the heart of British popular culture.

Decoding the BBC White Paper

Apocalyptic rumours followed by a row-back and relief. It's an age-old strategy, but what's the reality behind the government's BBC proposals?

Parliament will fight to protect the BBC

Lord Lester QC sets out why he's leading a rebellion of peers against the government's controversial BBC proposals, to be published today. 

The rise and rise of the 'super indies'

Major consolidation in the programme-making industry means that a small number of ‘super indies’ now dominate the field. But will that ultimately stifle creativity?

The General Strike to Corbyn: 90 years of BBC establishment bias

On the anniversary of the 1926 General Strike, looking back to the early BBC helps us understand the latest bias scandal, over coverage of Labour's anti-semitism scandal vs Tory election fraud.

This isn’t public policy: the prelude to the BBC White Paper

Debate about the BBC’s Charter Review has been dominated by leaks and rumours that ultimately play into the hands of commercial lobbyists. Where are the voices of licence-fee payers? 

It's time for Channel 4 to set the indies free - again

Somewhere between childhood and early middle age, Britain's Channel 4 lost sight of the importance of giving its indie producers free rein. Today's leaders could learn a lot from the legacy of the channel's founder, Jeremy Isaacs. 

Muslims in the media: a call to UK editors

The British press is failing to meet the highest standards in its presentation of Muslims. In a sea of stereotypes, journalists and the public must educate themselves about the facts beyond the headlines. 

Diversity on TV: a discussion with Lenny Henry

Following the BBC's commitment to new diversity targets, we publish the footage of a discussion about diversity on TV with Lenny Henry, Pat Younge, Dawn Foster and Bev Skeggs. 

#BlackLivesMatter in Britain too: why does our media care less?

The UK media seems more comfortable talking about race issues in America than those closer to home. It is the BBC’s responsibility to challenge these double standards. 

The BBC is failing to ask the big questions about the EU referendum

Britain's public service broadcaster must do more to communicate this historic vote beyond the narrow agendas of the official campaigns. 

Whitto, time to show you're not beholden to the press

There's one way for the UK culture secretary to answer accusations that his private life has influenced his policy decisions: move on with properly implementing the Leveson recommendations.

#Whittingdale: are the press still protecting themselves?

The story of the UK culture secretary's former relationship with a sex worker had been known by newspapers for years. Despite reaching up to Downing Street, there's still silence on how the story broke.

On Whittingdale and the power of press silence

The ability of the British press to effectively suppress a scandal speaks volumes about the dangers of concentrated media.

The Whittingdale file: a plea for better journalism

It's a mystery as to why the national newspapers chose not to expose a juicy story about the UK culture secretary. But claiming that his policies were 'influenced' by the 'suppression' of the story is pure conjecture.

How free is our press?

Britain’s ‘feral’ press has been mysteriously silent on a sex story involving Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, the man who decides what rules govern them and the BBC. I wonder why?

The real Whittingdale scandal: a cover up by the UK press

I spent five months with another senior journalist at the Independent newspaper investigating why other papers had shut down a story about the culture minister, only to see my editor shut the investigation down too. Here is the anatomy of a press cover-up.

On the new British 'popular'

The fight over the BBC is also a struggle over what it means, in the UK, to be ‘popular’. In other words, who are the people?

Caught in a Brexit bromance

The referendum on British membership of the EU has important implications for gender equality, but despite attempts at 'suffragette-washing' the debate, women's voices are failing to break through.

Here’s how we mutualise the BBC

Two MPs proposed this week that the BBC become a mutual organization. Dave Boyle sets out how this could be done in practice.

Inside the 'Digital Single Market'

The European Commission is working to build a more efficient system for sharing media content within the EU. What are the proposals, and how will they impact on broadcasters? 

Tomorrow’s BBC will be fitted to your personality

The BBC is doing cutting-edge research into Visual Perceptive Media, virtual reality and facial coding technologies. But do we want our shows to be tailored to our age, gender, and tastes? And what happens to all that data?

Channel 4 is critical infrastructure for the ‘Northern Powerhouse’

We shouldn’t jeopardise a unique creative and economic contributor to the regions by tinkering with its ownership.  

‘Red-tape’ is at the heart of the BBC’s democratic remit

The so-called ‘sharing economy’ is composed largely of opaque shoddily managed companies. Rather than mimicking these models, the BBC must make the case for improving and developing its much-lamented bureaucracy.   

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