VLV held its 2019 Spring Conference and annual Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting on Thursday 9th May 2019 at the Geological Society in Piccadilly.

The conference covered a wide range of issues: whether traditional radio has a future in the age of podcasting; we asked if political coverage on TV and radio is doing a good enough job for citizens in the UK; a session explored the implications of the BBC taking on the cost of providing free TV licences for the over 75’s; and we had an expert panel to discuss how the internet should be regulated to maximise citizen benefits while minimising the risk of harm.

The popular Annual VLV awards took place at lunchtime, hosted by the wonderful Jan Ravens of Dead Ringers fame.

Session 1: Politics on TV and radio


Guardian columnist, Polly Toynbee, Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4 and Mark Damazer, Head of St Peter’s College, Oxford, and former Controller of BBC Radio 4 and Radio 7, discussed recent coverage of politics on TV and radio.

You can listen to the sound of this session here. 

Session 2: How Should the Internet be Regulated?


Lord Gilbert, Chairman of the Lords Communications Committee, outlined the recommendations in his Committee’s report into internet regulation which was released in March 2019. Dr Victoria Baines, cyber-security expert and Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University, provided unique insight into the benefits and risks of the internet. And Professor Richard Tait of Cardiff University, formerly at Ofcom and the BBC Trust, highlighted elements of broadcasting policy which could be applied to the regulation of online content. This session was chaired by Emma Goodman from the LSE Media Policy Project.  

You can listen to the sound of this session here. 

Session 3: Free TV licences for the over 75's

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Claire Enders, founder of Enders Analysis, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK, and Richard Ayre, who was a BBC Trustee at the time of the last BBC financial settlement, discussed the implications of the BBC taking on the responsiblity and cost of free TV licences for those over 75. This session was chaired by former Chief Executive of BBC Broadcast, Will Wyatt CBE.

You can listen to the sound of this session here. 

Session 4: Traditional radio vs podcasting

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Gillian Reynolds MBE, the Sunday Times’ radio critic, chaired this session on the future of ‘traditional’ radio in the face of rising competition from global streaming services with Steve Parkinson, Managing Director for Bauer Media, Peter Naughton, Senior Audio Producer at the Telegraph Media Group and Helen Thomas, Head of Content Commissioning Radio 2.

You can listen to the sound of this session here

VLV Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting


You can read all about the VLV Awards for programmes broadcast in 2018 here.