Ofcom calls for laws to ensure diversity at broadcasters

Support us and go ad-free

Broadcasters such as the BBC and ITV should be legally required to reflect the “diversity of the UK” under new proposals by the broadcasting watchdog. Ofcom has called for the Government to “urgently bring forward” legislation to “modernise” the objectives of the public service broadcasters (PSB), which also include Channel 4 and 5.

Channel 4 moved its headquarters to Leeds in 2019 while the BBC recently announced a shift away from London over the next six years.

Channel 4 Privatisation

Ofcom said the PSBs still needed to represent “people from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds and communities from across the UK”.

The report adds:

It is important that this diversity extends to off-screen roles (such as writers, directors, producers, production crew, commissioners etc.) to provide a greater plurality of editorial voices and authentic representation.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The report – Small Screen: Big Debate – also includes a series of recommendations to the government, including ensuring broadcasters support the UK creative economy across the nations and regions, are universally available and deliver social value.

It concludes that “TV schedules no longer dictate what (viewers) watch or when they do so” and broadcasters must adapt to their evolving needs.

On-demand operators

Ofcom is working with government to bring in requirements for on-demand operators and suggested they should also be subject to diversity requirements.

It was announced last month the government plans to regulate streaming giants such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime in the same way as PSBs.

Under a new arrangement, Ofcom would extend a similar level of control over on-demand services, meaning it could rule on complaints relating to issues including bias and inaccuracy.

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop


The Canary Fund us