Tag Archives: telecommunications

Reminder: Radio 4’s The Media Show starts next Wednesday

Just a quick reminder for next week, since we last reported on it in July. The new media show, erm, called The Media Show, will start on BBC Radio 4 from October 1. It will look at the media world across print, TV, online and telecommunications.

It will go out live each Wednesday at 1.30pm. We’re looking forward to it – let’s hope it has a good online presence too (especially because we’ll be at the AOP conference that day. While it’s possible to Twitter discreetly, it’s not so easy to listen to the radio).

The original BBC press release can be read here.

Steve Hewlett to front Radio 4 media show

BBC Radio 4 will broadcast a new weekly programme on the media industry from October.

Presented by former TV executive Steve Hewlett, The Media Show will also be available as a podcast and will run for a year.

It will focus on changes affecting all aspects of the industry: print, online, television, radio and telecommunications, a release from the BBC said.

Ofcom: where does it stand on internet regulation?

Speaking at Ofcom‘s annual lecture this week, Ed Richards, the regulator’s chief executive, made some fairly non-committal comments about Ofcom’s role in regulating content on the internet.

Understating the matter he noted that there was ‘quite a bit of content’ on the web that was ‘very nasty’.

More usefully he volunteered that in previous incidents where harmful content has been found ‘a voluntary takedown policy’ has proved ‘ineffective’.

“What we need is a policy response that is based on the data and evidence of the prevalence of this kind of content and of the potential harm it causes,” Richards said.

He added that more conclusions on internet content regulation could be drawn when the government’s Byron Review of internet content is completed at the end of November.

While this may be more of an admission to involvment in internet regulation than Ofcom would have made a few years ago, there seems to be an uncertainty over what responsibility the organisation has in this area.

The Communications Act 2003 describes one of Ofcom’s special duties as:

Applying adequate protection for audiences against offensive or harmful material

These duties apply to ‘television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services’ – Ofcom’s domain. Yet no provision is made by the act or in the regulator’s principles for where these areas cross-over with the web.

Perhaps Ofcom should take its lead from the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), which has adapted its code to include regulation of audio and video content produced online by newspaper and magazine sites.

Yet, as this addition to the PCC’s code states:

Some websites cannot be categorized as “on-line versions” of newspapers and magazines. Some material – such as syndicated news broadcasts or radio programmes edited by third parties – may already be regulated on-line or off-line by another body …All such material will continue to fall outside the jurisdiction of the PCC.

While regulation offline may be possible in some cases, to prevent content from going unregulated Ofcom needs to more clearly (and quickly) define where exactly its responsibilities lie when it comes to video and audio content online.