In response to the DCMS Select Committee’s Inquiry into the Future of PSB, VLV highlights the need to put citizen interests at the heart of policy making. Over the top services, those delivered via the internet, are becoming increasingly popular which provides extra choice for audiences, but they are less regulated than traditional broadcasters and this is causing an imbalance in the market. Unlike the UK’s Public Service Broadcasters they have virtually no obligations, are largely unregulated for harm and offence, and they prioritise commercial content with little regard to ensuring a range of UK-relevant content is available.
VLV is calling for regulation to be updated so that it is more equitable. VLV is urging the government to ensure that public service content is promoted and advertising regulation applies equally to all platforms. In addition we are calling for greater transparency and accountability in the process of setting BBC income.
VLV proposes that an independent body should be established to oversee the process of deciding BBC funding settlements to ensure greater transparency and accountability after the two last unsatisfactory sets of negotiations with the government in 2010 and 2015.
We also recommend that a Citizens’ Forum for Broadcasting should be set up so that citizen interests, as distinct from consumer interests, are not neglected in the policy debate. It would encourage a more informed debate and further Ofcom’s role in representing citizen interests; outcomes could be fed into Ofcom and DCMS work and that of policymakers within the PSBs.