VLV Recent Events


Sir David Clementi, Chairman of the BBC, opened the VLV Spring Conference on April 19th. Sir David’s focus was on the BBC’s delivery of its mission by providing British content for a range of audiences. Concerned about maintaining BBC  reach among younger audiences, he outlined plans to reinvent the iPlayer and Radio iPlayer so they are more of a destination for this audience.

Watch the video of Sir David’s session:

Damian Collins MP, Chairman of the DCMS Select Committee, was the second speaker. He provided a fascinating update on the Committee’s inquiry into fake news which has uncovered  new information about interference in democratic processes in the UK and US.

He also highlighted the problem of data manipulation which has serious implications now that people increasingly are moving away from traditional news outlets. 

Mr Collins made it clear he believed that the tech companies and government share a responsibility to improve media literacy so we can protect ourselves online and recognise reliable content. He said regulators need to have access to tech companies to make sure that they follow data protection laws.

Watch the video of Damian’s session:

After lunch Kevin Bakhurst, Content Group Director at Ofcom, updated us on BBC regulation now that Ofcom has taken on responsibility for regulating the BBC. He highlighted that the BBC, along with the other PSBs, is being dwarfed by enormous global producers. He stressed that innovation, maintaining choice and reflecting the whole of the UK are key for the future of the BBC. He said that the full Ofcom report on BBC performance, due out in October, will provide detailed research on audience satisfaction.

Watch the video of Kevin’s session:    

The final session of the day was a lively discussion about the contribution commercial radio makes for audiences with broadcaster Nick Ferrari, Siobhan Kenny, CEO of Radiocentre, Matt Deegan of Fun Kids Radio and Folder Media, and Dr Tony Stoller, media historian, all masterfully chaired by Gillian Reynolds, radio critic of The Sunday Times. 

Watch the video of this session:


VLV Spring Conference 2017

April 26th 2017

The upcoming snap election, public trust in broadcasting, the World Service and BBC regulation were the issues which dominated the VLV conference on April 26th.

Damian Collins MP, Chairman of the Commons Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport opened the day covering a range of broadcasting issues which included the future of Channel 4 and the distinctiveness of the BBC. You can read his speech here. 

The second session of the morning focused on Alternative Facts and Public Trust in Broadcasting. Journalist and author Matthew d’Ancona was joined by Jane Martinson, Head of Media at The Guardian, Stewart Purvis, former Chief Executive of ITN to discuss the impact fake news is having on audiences. You can read a transcript of the session here. In the afternoon Fran Unsworth, Director, BBC World Service Group and Deputy Director of News and Current Affairs, highlighted the important role the World Service continues to offer, including the development of 12 new language services announced late last year. Fran's speech is available here.

The day ended with a panel session in which new arrangements for the regulation of the BBC were discussed: Tony Close, Director of Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcementat Ofcom was joined by former BBC Trustee Richard Ayre and Professor Steven Barnett. You can read a transcript of the sesson here.

A brief report on the conference is available here



March 21st 2017

Why Public Service Media matters more than ever in the age of Brexit, Trump, Facebook and Twitter 

The VLV was delighted to have Lord Puttnam CBE deliver the third Jocelyn Hay VLV Lecture 2017 on Tuesday 21 March at the Geological Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. A transcript of the speech is available here

‘Fake news’, attacks on a ‘dishonest’ and ‘biased’ mainstream media, and an increasingly febrile social media are increasing hallmarks of the age we inhabit. In the lecture, Lord Puttnam explored why it is essential that the values that underpin public service broadcasting are maintained and strengthened in the face of these developments, thereby helping to prevent the further erosion of public trust. 

The Jocelyn Hay VLV Lecture Series was established to reflect the huge contribution that Jocelyn Hay, our founder, made to public service broadcasting and civic debate over thirty years. The first Jocelyn Hay VLV Lecture was delivered by Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO on Broadcasting for a better society? Civil society and the media in 2012 and the second lecture was delivered by Profes sor Jean Seaton in 2015 on Pinkoes and Traitors - the BBC from 1974 - 1987.


An evening with Steve Hewlett

Friday 25th November 2016

VLV co-hosted an evening event with BBC Radio, the Media Society and the London Press Club where broadcaster Steve Hewlett discussed his career at the BBC Radio Theatre.

Steve had a distinguished career from researcher on Nationwide, to Editor of Panorama and latterly, as the well-known presenter of The Media Show

The event report and podcast with the late Steve Hewlett can be found here

The video recording of Steve Hewlett interviewed by Roger Bolton can be viewed here 

VLV's Autumn Conference 2016

VLV’s annual Autumn conference on 23 November focused on what the next ten years might hold for audiences with the Draft Charter ready to be signed by the Queen and Channel 4’s operating model under scrutiny.

Lord Hall of Birkenhead CBE, Director-General of the BBC, was our keynote speaker. You can read Lord Hall’s speech here or listen to clips of it hereherehere and here

The second session of the morning focused on Channel 4 with VLV’s President, Dame Colette Bowe, chairing a session with Dan Brooke, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at C4C, Steve Morrison, the Founder of All3Media and journalist Maggie Brown. You can hear Dan’s speech here. 

Three eminent Peers spoke in our third session of the day:Lord Inglewood, Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, and Lord Stevenson of Balmacara.  

Our final session of the day explored whether new technology poses a threat to traditional public service television. Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Digital UK, Lindsey Clay, CEO ofThinkbox, journalist Bill Thompson and Mathew Horsman, Director of Mediatique took part in the discussion.

You can read a more detailed report on the conference here

VLV's Spring Conference 2016 - Public Service Broadcasting on a precipice?

The Spring Conference tackled the topical issues surrounding the future of PSB with both the Charter Review and future of Channel 4 under discussion. Maria Eagle MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport spoke along with Charlotte Moore, newly appointed Controller of BBC TV channels and iPlayer and David Ab rahams, Chief Executive of Channel 4.  

Maria Eagle MP's speech can be read here 

Charlotte Moore's speech can be read here 


John Whittingdale in conversation with VLV members at Westminster

Secretary of State John Whittingdale met with almost 100 VLV members and industry colleagues at Westminster on 10 February and answered a wide range of questions.  Read more here


Scotland, Public Service Broadcasting and the Broadcasting landscape

VLV co-hosted a free event on public service broadcasting in Scotland with RSA Scotland, CCPR and SMCA at Glasgow University on Wednesday 13 January 2016.  There was a good turnout of about a 100 people, which included some VLV members whom it was great to see - on rather a cold, rainy day in Glasgow!

Read the full report here


VLV's Autumn Conference 2015 - PSB - Future Uncertain

The Autumn conference saw three key speakers, Rona Fairhead, Chair of the BBC Trust;  Lord Terry Burns, outgoing Chair of Channel 4 and Alan Davey, Controller of BBC Radio 3 discuss Public Service Broadcasting.  A synopsis of the conference can be read here   

Rona Fairhead's speech read here