The need for truly local television

That Ofcom endorses the BBC/ITV news sharing plan is good news but the recommendation that after 2010, independently funded news consortia may bid for specific news slots on ITV will simply protect an old system.

The weakness in the ITV regional system will remain - that “regional” is not “local”.
Viewers want local news, current affairs and programming.

A national network of local TV stations, a Channel 6 on Freeview, can achieve that. Once cross-media ownership rules are relaxed, local TV will work in partnership with newspapers - not simply as news providers - universities, local authorities, local radio and commercial interests.
The initiative will provide not only news, but the many other non-news programmes on the arts, music, sport, the countryside, religion and business that are about to be dumped by ITV. It will also create hundreds of jobs.

The government and Ofcom are eager to explore the prospect of truly local TV as a PSB provider. ULTV believes local partnerships can play a vital role in the future of PSB. We are already exploring those partnerships.

Peter Williams, ULTV (United for Local Television)


Ofcom must take on disability issues

I welcome Ofcom's proposal for the creation of a non-BBC public body with a remit for commissioning PSB content.

As a person with a disability seeking to ensure disabled people and disability issues are a prominent consideration within content commissioned by any such body, it is vital Ofcom clarifies its meaning of the phrases “diverse audience groups” and “minority ethnic groups” as stated within 7.50 of the statement.

To disregard the fundamental need for disability content would be to confine it to the margins of video-on-demand services. Thus the disability community must now fight for it.

Jonathan Kaye, disability marketing consultant and associate of the Broadcasting & Creative Industries Disability Network.