Apprenticeship Levy: The Great Leap Forward
According to Michael Foster (co-founder, Creative Access), the government’s apprenticeship levy is a great opportunity for a radical rethinking and reform of training and talent development in the television industry. In particular, the initiative can be used to reverse the trend of the alarming reduction of socio-economic diversity within the television sector. Foster argues that the freelance nature of work in the sector does not provide a sufficient excuse not to adapt to the forthcoming apprenticeship levy – rather, training the workforce and ‘widening the funnel for the intake’ will benefit the television industry, as the freelance labour force will have more opportunities to transfer and carry skills from job to job and from company to company. Foster’s recommendations include a call for the industry to ‘act in concert’ and to ‘create standards that are of real value and benefit’. Foster also calls for the foundation of a National Media Apprenticeship College, the industry’s own self-funded training school, and for a Media Apprenticeship Training Agency.
Michael Foster, Creative Access
Everything for Someone: For an Inclusive Definition of Public Service Broadcasting
According to Brett Mills (University of East Anglia) there is a growing need for a broader, more inclusive definition of public service broadcasting, as there has been a ‘worrying normalisation of a limited definition of PSB’ in both academic and policy contexts, which ‘runs counter to public conception of the term.’ Mills points out that the provision of PSB can only function if its services are universal, not only in terms of access but also in terms of content. ‘A universal PSB enables all citizens to see their lives reflected and valued within content, and this is only possible if PSB encompasses as wide a range of genres and programming.’ Yet, discourses on PSB function often ‘hierarchise’ different kinds of PSB provision, and there is a worrying trend that some genres are seen as more public service than others.
Policy Solutions and International Perspectives on the Funding of Public Service Media Content for Children: A Report for Stakeholders
CAMRI (Communications and Media Research Institute, University of Westminster)
Read CAMRI’s (Communications and Media Research Institute, University of Westminster) comprehensive evaluation of funding possibilities for public service children’s content, which draws experiences outside the UK. The resulting report addresses the following questions: what forms of alternative funding exist to support public service content for children in a transforming multiplatform media environment? What can we learn from the types of funding and support for children’s screen content that are available elsewhere in the world? And How effective are these funding systems and funding sources for supporting domestically produced content?
CAMRI_Funding of PSM for Children
Sustainability of Channel 4
BFI‘s (British Film Institute’s) submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications focuses on Channel 4 Corporation (C4C) and more specifically its engagement with film and moving image content. BFI’s view is that C4C contributes ‘more programmes of distinction’ to the National Television Archive than any other PSB, and singles out Film4 as a very important source of investment in UK film industry. It should remain ‘true to its statutory PSB remit’ in ‘maintaining a point of difference’ and ‘continuing to focus on setting a high bar for quality and diversity of screen content’ which appeals to younger audiences.
The BBC: A Radical Rethink
According to Justin Schlosberg (Birkbeck, University of London) the government’s recent White Paper on BBC Charter Renewal, exhibits a ‘worrying development’ in terms of proposed changes to the BBC’s governance. The proposed system of a new ‘unitary board’ in which the majority of members will be appointed by the government, threatens ‘to give a direct government appointee overall editorial responsibility for all the BBC’s output.’ This government move goes against the previous Charter Renewal option of ‘top slicing’ of the licence fee, which was perceived as a commercial threat to this public institution. But Schlosberg observes that ‘a centralised and concentrated BBC is intrinsically more vulnerable to editorial pressures precisely because they can filter down the chain of governors, directors, managers and editors.’ On the other hand, top slicing, if structured in the right way, would potentially allow decentralisation of the BBC’s structure and governance, which would ‘need not involve any degree of privatisation or commercialisation’, and would potentially be even more immune to to market pressures.