On 3rd November 2022, the House of Lords held a debate on public service broadcasting to mark the centenary of the BBC. The Bishop of Leeds spoke in the debate, with specific reference to the value of UK public service broadcasting worldwide, and the future of Channel 4:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I too am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Foster, for securing this very important debate. Before saying anything further on the theme, I want to express thanks to and admiration for those who prepared the Library briefing. I have been knocking around these issues for a couple of decades, and this briefing is a model of narrative accuracy and concision.
Public service broadcasting in the UK is unique on the planet and one area in which this country is genuinely a world leader, which is why it is so important that, in the centenary year of the BBC and the day after the 40th birthday of Channel 4, we assess the value of what we have and steel ourselves against the ideologically driven impulse to diminish it. Yesterday, I asked a friend who works in public service broadcasting what she would focus on in a debate such as this. Her response was immediate: imagine a world without it. That is, imagine a world in which broadcasting serves only narrow cultural or political interests and is subject purely to commercial or transactional persuasion. I might put it like this: look at broadcasting in the United States. Price is not the same as value.
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The Bishop of Chichester asked a question during a discussion on the Broadcasting Sector White Paper on 11th July 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, the Government’s Up Next policy paper claims that
“public service broadcasters … develop skills and talent, drive growth right across the creative industries”.
Will the Minister undertake to widen the Government’s vision for broadcasting to ensure that we also hear how skills and talents will be developed among pupils, students and young performers and designers when at present curriculum incentive and public investment are so often lacking in this area in our schools, colleges and universities?
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On 5th March 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Young of Norwood Green, “That this House takes note of the role of the BBC and public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom’s economy and creative culture.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, the timing of this debate could hardly be better. I also want to thank the noble Lord, Lord Young, for his introduction. The Media and Telecoms 2020 & Beyond conference and the Culture Secretary’s contribution to it inevitably inform a lot of what is to be said. I also wondered whether I need to declare an interest, having been the vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields for 16 years, given that the first religious service ever broadcast came from there, by the BBC, in January 1924. The link continues. I never made much income from it, but it is a significant relationship with considerable affection for the BBC built into it. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury says BBC needs to be cherished, not disrupted”
On 29th March 2017, Lib Dem Peer Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury asked Her Majesty’s Government when the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will announce its conclusions on the future status of Channel 4. The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a supplementary question on the benefit of publicly funded broadcasting.
The Lord Bishop of Southwark Does the Minister agree that the United Kingdom has benefited enormously from publicly owned broadcasting and that this benefit is too little acknowledged in public discourse?
Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark acknowledges the benefit of publicly owned broadcasting to the UK”
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