Centre for Cultural Policy Research (2005, Glasgow)


CCPR seminar PSB and CultureC Chair: Christine G

Speakers:

Dr Vicki Nash, OfCOM Prof. Philip Schlesinger Bobby Hain Allan Jack

Comm, culture and convergence: prospects for thefuture Vicki Nash

65.9% now digital

4.0% household spend on comms 3.4% in 2000

3G from 0.2-3.5% since 2003

virgin takeover of ntl - 4 components

interest in dedicated gaelic channel

bbc remain cornerstone of psb 10-yr charter w mid-point review should have licence fee

Public Service Publisher - new

in scot, high use of local newspapers, but not eally met by psb

will publish digital localcontent report in new year

regional radio conference, may 2006, geneva - spectrum use in europe awaiting conclusions from there

PSP - not a tradl tv channel - provider for digita and bb world - uk originated content - on demand - new interactive formats - across all comm platforms

ME: Technology, Culture & Society

media literacy -access, ustd, and create commms

nations and regions audit - look at ranges of access

review of tv prodn sector broadcast traininfg and skills regulator digital dividend review - options for release of spectrum - eg high quality video on mobile devices

future

Philip Schelsinger

era of econ andtechl rationalisation statist ideology of competitive nation rhetorics of digital and creative britain

galbraith - ideas esteemed at any time for their acceptabitliyu

parameters incly set, but somee particulars

along with rationalisation is formalisation

Comm Act 2003 - convergence  as ttechl theme - consolidation as econ theme

through policy intervention, changed

ofcom child of comm act

regulation of comms incl bbc

lord currie  - if pressed, shouuld regulate bbc

green paper

jowell: pistachio ripple - some white paperr status

dcms rev of royal charter 4 reviews -building public value - HoL select comm report

instit frameorks of broadcasting

bbc

downsizing of itv psb obligs

role of PSP contingent on bbc

scotland's voice? - devolution not provided focus for  debate - market and reg trends likely to decrease interest

what are relevant terms of informed debate?

formalisation of PSB:

no attempts to define before ofcom dom defn from ofcoms psb reeviews, which have shaped debate intellectual style shaped by passion for evidence based audit society across al public policy

finance, governance and critical mass, and scope of PSB

conception - in bbc building pub vlaue - promoting citzienship, creratively, representing uk - how ofcomhas  redefined purpose of psb - public value in economic terms - measured by market, but defiend in citizenship,etc

gavin davies -purpose of digital britain, is econ and techl goal,with cultural and poplitical conseqs, never thought of as public

pushing forward of digital agenda central to ofcom

licence fee seen as least worse solution

language ofgreen paper - licence fee as venture capital for creative prodn - tied to suport for strong prodn centre

conflicts bw bbcs lang and capital market?

building public value not carte blanche for wasting resouorces

green paper aergues ofcom should look at bbcs efficiency

governance - hutton -sep govertnors from exec

new trust of bbc, quasi regulatory role bow to ofcom in comp matters

bbc estab by statute rather than charter reinforce independence

lords fail to recog polecon of independence, not just a tidying exc

territorial represn?

propopsal to recast exec comm of bbc

q of bbcs scope and scale - legit to considerwhat  we shouls pay for

bbc is downsizing

25% of prodn outsources

effects on critical mass at bbc?

q of decentralisation -regional flavours - scot: building up of manchesterr will pose challenge to indep prodn north of border

not necessarily decentralising, but recentralising

future balance of psb - subject to parlity test

as commercial broadcast retreats from psb

ch4 repositioning itself in market

cultural commission relevance to scot debates

'our next major enterprise...'

report was resounding challenge to scope of devolved broadcasting

XXXScot ACt 1998

reeport is nationalist report

premised on assumptions of buttressing scot national idt

confidence building

bolstering econ devel thro creative and cult inds

imposs to avoid trope of creativity

devolved v reserve powers

if take creative inds as object of policy, they include broadcast and screen inds, which are less distinct in digi era

Annex G - recalibrate broadcast priorities - constituent part of scot cult - asked to introduce element of devol in  broadcassting - what this should be is unclear - ambition lacking in tv and radio - to keep talent in scot, need serious prodn capavbilities - how about uk channel based in scot for commissioning purposes?

other agenda - if psb is propeerly sbordinate to cult policy, pose serious challenge to present powers

Discussion

AllanJack, bbc scotland

construct and creativity

it is agiven that there is a national psychology

an opp

creativity is used in slightly spinning  way, butencompasses all aspects of bbc - expressing themselves

digital media is here and broadcasting landscape is coming

must adapt to it

task for psb

(Carina Wilson - delegate)

4 things bbc is trying to devel and use new enviro

1. be aware that there is sucha thing as public electronicspace. must estab and protect

ME: is bbc relevant in this space?

2. specific job to promote self expression i. island blogging - homes in northern argyle are wired and website created. now exchange,etc. become electronic noticeboard

ME: still disconnected from major digital movements, such as flickr,etc

ME: evaluation of these?

ii. tales from the edge - allow people to make documentariess of own lives. genuinely spontaneous. people marginal to mainstream expressed selves in highly effective way. eg. radio - past lives. listeners contact to say what they would like to hear about. digital has potential to be more democratic

ME: can PSB remain competitive?

efficiency and creativity not opposites eff is imp constitutent of being creativity

developing and keeping talent

river city - made in dumbarton - is way of developing talent

cultural distinctiveness

being scottish is what we are all about

gaelic

network

The Culture Show - half made from glasgow, half from london - first time that a bbc network has been produced out side of london

Bobby Hain, SMG Broadcasting

not enough of these meetings

v interesting for commercial broadcasters particularly

grampian now mandated to prod scot content

committed to regional news

exporting national outside of scot

otherwise, cannot produce networked prodn

welsh market produces in wales,but in scot more active in uk wide

yes taggart, etc location, location , location monarch of the glen

challenges

barb - how deal w multiset households?

17-20 yr olds have no conception of how bbc and itv were once only channels

convergence of tes

now appointed ecommerce director to look at broadcasting and online

while ofcom has reduced licence terms, now we pay less and entire value lost throgh prodn of revenue

we are no better off!

what can we do?

Questions and Answers

Q: are we more meritocratic? which is why ntions contrib only 2%.drop in qual of nations? what has changed?

Bobby: we dont know. commercial imperative will req best ideas. not sure why from 8% to 2%. 2 issues: itvs commercial imperative and ofcoms desire to see more prodns in regions and nations

Vicki: are we geared up?

Dave Rushton: funl prob that wout devol of indep for Scot Exec, cannot address. spectrum not about to be commercialised, but only operates at regional level. should it be deveoled to scot to devel regional services? v little talent employed in scot to look at these issues. need  engineers, etc to have debate.

Philip SChesl: serious challenges of econ for local tv.

Vicki: devol of spectrum: put in a response to ofcom.use for wireless bb, more channels,etcc is open. ofcom still trying to deal w speed of change. if this debate leads to strategy for scot ,thaht would be useful.

Q, highlands and islands: 65% take up for freeview and digi, doubt is as high in scotland

Christine G: robostnes of figures

Vicki: 82% of households have terretrial, compared w 72% in uk. real issue for switchover. she lives 20 miles from glsgow). there are advs to switching first. 3g and bb also prob.

David Hutchison: back to Phil's talk. natuer of discourses need more discussion. comp driven syst. difc bw market syst and market soc has been eroded. risk taking in broadcasting going to decline.  in itv seems true. what about bbc? dump on bbc4? cultural diminuition.

Allan Jack: of course should be. no quota for risk taking in bbc. but pushing boundaries ,new formats. such as

David: progs about  50s should be on bbc2

Allan: not a q of dumping. cant get eth onto one channel. q is how arrange channels

Bobby: commercial imperative of share of impacts  - share of revenue - conspires against taking risks. scotsport - was taking risk. mon 11pm. spelling ,dancing and singing as prime sat night seems surprising, but that's it.

CG: biggest risk was river city. supporting young talent.bet nobody in this audience  watches it

Sarah Oates: russia,america and uk comparative research. but bbc provides unique opp in world. hope that model provides quirkiness of cult and ability to take risks

Iseult: risking if variety prior to proliferation of channels, was done. is arg that wee dont put onto bbc1 and bbc2

Allan: should not use in lazy way, but try to challenge

Wendy, SCA: efficiency and creativ not exclusive, i agree, but  arguable that processes and emphasis on new te have eclipsed climate of debate. how prov space for creativity?? now seeing less risk taking , more box-ticking.

CG: this asks q that vicki asked us. perhaps we need to consider.

Allan: i ustd what you are saying. must pay for thinking space. need exptl space.

John Ar.. indep producer: interesting ways of getting new things .how can prodn in scotland get noticedin such comp environment. 4docs - make film and download to weebsite. q for allan. many indies could not survive wout bbc commisions.ambition is to be on network andachieve 17% prodn, but can we without prodn. nobody in scot can say ' i like thism, it will be on the network' huge chalenge for ofcom is to see if this can change.

Allan: bbc comiteed to moving commissioners outside of scotland. move to manchester moves closer to scotland. common way of thinking - regional.

Vicki: not ofcoms role to decide which programmes, but yes....

Ed Mac... indep consultant: one of realities is lack of buy in from politicians. 3 diff orgs asked mcconnell to attend debates on cultural, but did not attend. cultural planning group scotland - conduit for pub sect sustainabiilty. new area - community broadcasting sector - what is devel interface bw community and psb

Vicki: ofcom has licensed a nmumber of community radio

Bobby: this is abouot bb. link bw people and tradl broadcasters. will see growth of community portals. those sector sthat have managed to integrate sense of community more succesful than just selling .ebay or craigslist more succesrful because ofcommunity.

Allan:bbc trying to devel that part of sector

Q: do we need ofcom and if so why?

Philip: because social balance would not let commerce rip, would want an instit like ofcom. it is written into the game. it is going to be indispensible. issue is how ofcom fns and balance of arg about this. some of this is unpredictale. i am extremely committed to debate on qs of principle and policy. there are just things instits do if they are not challenged.

Vicki:ofcom more efficent. we need because itis trying to make sense of converged world.

Allan: yes need regulators. tv in uk like hollywood in usa (quoting)

Bobby: yes need. otherwise chaos. too many bad channels . do we need them to do eth theydo? perhaps not. we do have intell voice from them that was not present before.

Morgan, Scottish SCreen: where user generated, now multi-casting, psp now blown out of the water

Philip: ofcom doesntthinkso.

Morgan: but was a space. 4docs now changing what psp could have been

Philip: would watch this space. not over yet. other ideas will attach themselves to psp.

Paul Thornton: philip -reconciling public w economic, and impc of tv. how reconcile public w market, but maintain sense of responsibilites?

Philip: compromises, another is about to be worked out. what will be scope and scale? how pubilc value is talked about is neces'y derived from market.

Andrew, ACE: vicki said that audiences req in genre of arts, third from bottom. what is take on this? south bank show.

Allan: need to know more about survey.

bobby: has led ofcom away from box-ticking. theirdefn of genre needs clarification

Philip: underlying q is whether is hierarcy of value. clear that ofcoms is intervention of policy, premised that preferences are real and have conseqs that ought to inform priorities .is qable whether snapshot is adequate basis.

Simon Smith: 2000 people on telephone interview was the stat. 2 terms from ofcom: convergence. but what is this? look at what hasnt changed as mch as what has. tv screen changing doesnt change reason for watching  same. convergence shouldnt take away from factthat this is what drives audience.2. way in which tv is form of comm, there are many other forms .is also a medium for artists. worries when they see that tv is merely comm.

CG: their defn of psb applies better to news than,saym, drama

Summary

Pihilip: if look at hist of media comm, always reevolusions that involve displacement, but rarely disappearance. are signif generational changes of media use. techl convergence has been hyped. serious qs ofmarket sustainability of range of distrib systsms. second point about what do we regulate? we are v selective. we do not regulate press by statutory means. fears of politicians of conseqs. broadcasting has been key sector for reg, along w telecomms for reasons of state as much as identity. what are going to be t marginal inrcements . next thing is content.