Ian Burrell: The fast-moving media environment can be a source of worry to some
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Saturday 30 June 2012
Some Freeview customers have only just gone through the sometimes confusing process of throwing out the old analogue television sets that had served them for years and replacing them with the digital service.
They thought they were set up for the new era of television, a wide range of channels and all for free. And now they are being told they might lose the signal and have to pay up to £212 for an engineer to restore their picture.
It sometimes appears to escape the government’s notice but not everyone is fully-loaded with the latest smartphones and tablets, and the fast-moving media environment can be a source of worry to those who fear their cherished television and radio programmes may become less accessible.
Not all Freeview customers are reluctant users of new technology, but they are more likely than pay TV consumers to be elderly or poor and they are less likely to be early adopters of the 4G mobile network, which is going to play havoc with the signals of millions of British televisions from next year.
Freeview and the BBC are furious that the mobile companies and the Government, which are both poised to enjoy a cash bonanza from 4G (which itself is long overdue and much needed by British business), are not going to pay the full cost of making things right but are going to land millions of consumers with hefty bills.
As Lord Sugar prepares to reveal the look of the YouView internet television service this week, the news that the platform’s potential Freeview customer base is facing large bills, is the last thing he wants to hear as he tries to encourage them to upgrade to the new service.
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