Policy and Programmes
Ensuring Quality and Diversity in British Broadcasting
Leading figures from the broadcasting world, including keynote speaker BBC Director-General Lord Hall of Birkenhead, will be speaking at the annual autumn conference of the Voice of the Listener & Viewer later this month.
Other speakers include Sir Peter Bazalgette, the Chairman, Arts Council England, Steven Barnett, Professor of Communications at the University of Westminster and the senior broadcasting executives, Lorraine Heggessey and Steve Morrison. Raymond Snoddy, Torin Douglas, Polly Toynbee, Richard Brooks and Robin Lustig are among the influential broadcasting commentators also taking part.
Colin Browne, Chairman of VLV, said: “The theme of the conference – Ensuring Quality and Diversity in British Broadcasting – reflects the roots and aims of the VLV, which was established 30 years ago. These are momentous times for British broadcasting with technological advances forcing the pace of change amid political debate around the role and governance of the BBC. The conference is an important opportunity to hear how the views of broadcasting leaders fit with the key objective of the VLV – that quality and diversity in British broadcasting should be preserved, cherished and enabled to flourish.”
Lord Hall’s speech to the conference, followed by a Conversation with Robin Lustig will be an opportunity to hear more about his ambitions for the BBC, as well as for conference delegates to ask him questions directly. Last month he said he wanted the BBC to have a much closer relationship with its audience. The BBC, said Lord Hall, should be treating its audiences “like owners, not just as licence-fee payers. People should not be saying ‘the BBC’ but ‘my BBC’, ‘our BBC.’”
Sir Peter Bazalgette, who has spent much of his life in broadcasting including, famously, as inventor of Big Brother, will speak about broadcasting’s contribution to the arts in the UK, including the role public service broadcasting plays in nurturing the arts in the UK and what more might be done. As well as leading Arts Council England, he is President of the Royal Television Society and a non-executive director of ITV plc.
Lorraine Heggessey, Executive Chair, Boom Pictures and Steve Morrison, Chairman, All3media, will discuss the independents' eye line with former BBC Media Correspondent Torin Douglas, whilst a panel of journalists and commentators, including Raymond Snoddy, Polly Toynbee, The Guardian and Richard Brooks, The Sunday Times, will continue the debate about the future of the BBC after Tony Hall's session.
Professor Steven Barnett will look at broadcasting during the 30-year history of the VLV, which was initially established by writer and broadcaster Jocelyn Hay to campaign against a threat to turn BBC Radio 4 into an all-news and current affairs network. The campaign was successful and the VLV is today the leading advocate for listeners, viewers and citizens of high quality broadcast content, based on public service values on TV, radio and other media. Mrs Hay continues as President of the VLV.