On May 12th the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport published a White Paper relating to the upcoming renewal of the BBC Charter. The document – titled “A BBC for the future: a broadcaster of distinction” – can be found here.
Many BBC Watch readers will find section 3 of the report to be of particular interest, including the recommendations (page 60) concerning the complaints system.
“The new Charter will introduce two changes:
−a single complaints system with regards to the BBC in relation to editorial matters. In the first instance the BBC will handle the complaint. Where a complainant is unsatisfied with the response, or where the BBC fails to respond in a timely manner, the complainant will then be able to complain to Ofcom;
−external regulatory oversight of editorial matters. Ofcom will be able to consider complaints about all BBC content, including accuracy and impartiality in BBC programmes. This means the BBC will continue to be held to the high editorial standards that the public expects. It will build on the expertise and experience that Ofcom already has in considering complaints about the BBC and the rest of the broadcasting sector.
This approach will require Ofcom to take on responsibility for the regulation of aspects of BBC content currently outside of the Broadcasting Code. The government will work with Ofcom and the BBC to make sure that the BBC is held to the high editorial standards that the public rightly expects.”
The Clementi Review referred to throughout the White Paper can be found here.