Media / Talk of the Trade: Deaf broadcasters

THE COMMON theme in annual reports from the Broadcasting Standards Council, Broadcasting Complaints Commission and Independent Television Commission is that complaints from viewers and listeners are rising sharply, and that the broadcasters do not seem very responsive to them. The lobby group Voice of the Listener & Viewer, commenting on the BBC White Paper, points out that the Government has missed an opportunity to establish a proper consumer council with a wide remit to look at trends throughout broadcasting. The BBC will be able to discontinue its ineffective General Advisory Council, but there is no clear steer from the Government about what sort of consultative bodies should replace it. Lady Howe, chair of the BSC, which will merge with the BCC, is going to lobby for broader powers to initiate research. She points out, with justice, the value of the BSC's 1992 Future of Children's Television in Britain study, which exposed the vast rise in imported cartoon programmes. But this small reform does not fill the void.
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