Are the BBC Trust’s days numbered?

In case readers have not yet seen it, here is an interesting report from the Telegraph according to which the possibility of transfer of regulation of the BBC from the BBC Trust to Ofcom has been raised by the DCMS.  

“A senior source at the Culture, Media and Sport department said: “It is clear that the trust, which is both a cheerleader for the BBC and its regulator, does not work. There are contradictions.” […]

Under the plans the BBC would be run on similar lines to Channel 4, which is publicly owned but regulated by Ofcom. This would require primary legislation, and would take effect from the BBC’s next charter beginning in January 2017, it is believed.

The corporation has been subject to Ofcom regulation on matters of obscenity, privacy and harm, since 2007, but has maintained its independence on questions of editorial impartiality.”

So what do BBC Watch readers think? Would such a step contribute towards improving the accuracy and impartiality of BBC content? Tell us your thoughts – and any alternative suggestions – in the comments below. 

9 comments on “Are the BBC Trust’s days numbered?

  1. In the same way that regulation of solicitors has been taken out of the hands of the Law Society, this idea makes perfect sense.

  2. It’s a step in a long overdue direction. Frankly the BBC being overseen by the BBC was a farce from the get-go, and it is astounding this ridiculous stitch-up has been maintained still to now.

    However… while anything external is to be welcomed to get back to accuracy and impartiality… OFCOM?

    It’s a useless quango; always has been and always will be. Ombudsmen inevitably end up empathising with the entities they are meant to protect the public from, and it’s hard to see the public sector mentality changing much when a bunch of ex-BBC types apply to fill the roles OFCOM will need to create to cover what is sure to be a vast function, as the BBC itself continues its death spiral in terms of professional quality and integrity.

    It’s also hardly encouraging to see the head of OFCOM is ex-BBC, hardly politically impartial, and was keen to be/shortlisted for the last DG role.

  3. As the guy who beat the BBC at 28Gate i am convinced all that put any trust in the BBC should have their head checked. For example, that list is still not officially confirmed, despite the perps having been caught red-handed with it. More, somebody took the time to make it disappear from the Wayback Machine, further confirming how institutionally corrupt the BBC is.

    It’s not anybody’s fault, of course, rather the natural evolution for an organisation that lives on public money without being answerable to anybody but itself. An internal mafia quickly develops, with all the managerial positions filled by those deemed more trustworthy by whomever is in charge of distributing/dissipating the monies. The structure feeds on itself, and will do anything and everything to prevent people from looking in.

    So I am not as pessimistic now as JunkkMale…true, with OFCOM it would still be a fairly promiscuous affair. But at the very least, not incestuous any longer. The OFCOM guy, whatever his past, will have to answer to something else than the BBC, therefore breaking the mafia loop.

    • Never thought of myself as a glass half full type, but maybe my dealings with the BBC have rendered me that way:(

      I have as happens dealt with both OFCOM and the BBC on various, separate issues.

      There were many similarities. Perhaps rightly, the onus is on the complaining party to to get their ducks in a row. However, where things start to get rigged by both is when mystery internal rules get dragged out on procedure. Only in the public sector can the party being complained about set up the hurdles in advance and often in secret… and then run away claiming foul if one is clipped.

      I have often made the comparison with Douglas Adams’ ‘Beware of the Leopard’ file in the opening chapter of Hitchhiker’s Guide. But that was funny, if satire based on truth. The reality of BBC complaints and the oversight systems in theory beyond them are the equal, if not worse, and most certainly not funny.

      If OFCOM has an appeal and further oversight beyond it that the BBC does not, then that is an extra step beyond an alternative one, and welcome.

      And I stand ready to see it deployed to make things better rather then simply a new and more complex way to make things go away.

      If this is the DCMS I am not encouraged. For a start it is inevitably political, and of course is, also, public sector. The conflicts of interest already stack up.

  4. ‘the possibility of transfer of regulation of the BBC from the BBC Trust to Ofcom has been raised by the DCMS. ‘

    Who appoints the people on the Ofcom payroll????

    The only solution for the BBC is to enact the Greek style re-birth getting rid of the obsessively obsessively anti Western and anti -Israel employees.

  5. I think that Ofcom oversight is better than we currently suffer from with the bbc. However, until the end user has the option to not subscribe to this dysfunctional entity, all the overseers in the world will make not a jot of difference.

  6. Pingback: BBC from Trust to Ofcom…not one minute too soon! | Omnologos

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