Founder, Editor, Interactive Television Evangelist at informitv
29 June 2004 23:27pm
The BBC has unveiled its vision of the digital future in the run-up to the debate over the renewal of its Royal Charter.
At the heart of its nine-point plan for the future of the BBC in the twenty-first century is the ambition of building digital Britain, together with a new test of public value.
Michael Grade, the recently appointed BBC Chairman launched the radical 130 page manifesto, Building public value: Renewing the BBC for a digital world, saying: “Our task over the next year is to convince the British public that the BBC’s role in the new digital age of plenty is both justified and necessary.”
Building Digital Britain
The BBC has a new mission, to build a digital Britain. It is the word digital, rather than interactive or new media, that resonates throughout the BBC’s manifesto.
Rather than attempting to define public service broadcasting in subjective terms of quality or distinctiveness, the BBC’s latest big idea employs an argument more recognisable to an economist, that free-to-air broadcasting is a public good that creates collective social value. In other words it aims to treat its audience not just as consumers but as members of a wider society in which the objective of informing, educating and entertaining serves a public purpose that is democratic, cultural, educational, social and global. The difficulty with this argument is that much of the notion of public value remains intangible.
The BBC paper also indicates that while the public have a right to expect a breath of service, there will be a review of the BBC’s depth of vertical integration and the extent to which it undertakes activities in-house rather than in partnership or under contract with other parties.
Ironically, having already announced the decision to sell-off its Technology division, the Corporation is clearly putting digital transformation at the forefront of the debate over the future of public service broadcasting.
For a full report see informitv.com BBC publishes vision of digital future
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