Bob Usherwood is Professor Emeritus at the University of Sheffield, where he worked in what is now The Information School. He learnt to value public service broadcasting when growing up in a working class community in London’s East End. Weekly visits to the local public library and regular access to the BBC, which, at that time, radiated public service values, educated him and provided a foundation for his future career. He believes that both the BBC and public libraries are currently threatened and has written about this in a recent paper entitled “Culture wars, libraries and the BBC”.
He first joined the VLV in the early 1990s having attended a Sheffield event where the speaker was Jocelyn Hay. Following retirement he became a member of the Board and with Sheffield VLV colleagues, Sylvia Harvey and the late David Eggington, helped to arrange meetings in Sheffield and Leeds. He has also contributed articles to the VLV Bulletin.
He believes that by championing excellence and diversity in broadcasting VLV is encouraging serious public debate based on facts, judgement and reason and helping to alert the public to the dangers of misrepresentation and misinformation: dangers that threaten personal and public decision making and could destroy our democracy.