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Blumler, Jay

A short submission by Jay Blumler (Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds) focuses on the BBC’s public purpose of ‘sustaining citizenship and civil society’ as being inadequate and too general so ‘that any editor of any news outlet could claim to subscribe to and to be serving it.’ According to Blumler, recent years have seen a diminishing of the civic mission of BBC news and current affairs. This has taken place due to various issues, including unrelenting competition to attract and hold audiences as well as ‘a drift away from a mixture of sacerdotal and pragmatic approaches to political news toward a more purely pragmatic one.’ The public purpose therefore needs to be made more specific: to provide information and analysis of current events, as well as include a provision of presenting ‘the main options among different ways of dealing with current issues’ and ‘ensuring that the experiences and views of all sectors of society likely to be affected by proposed policies are presented and heard.’

Jay Blumler