The House of Lords Select Committee on Communications was set up in 2007 to look at a broad range of communications and broadcasting public policy issues and highlight areas of concern to Parliament and the public. Its first chairman and many of its initial members served on a one-off committee set up in 2005 to look at the BBC Charter Review, out of which the Select Committee on Communications was born. The Committee is constituted on a cross-party basis and the current Chairman is Lord Inglewood.
The Committee investigates public policy areas related to the media, communications and the creative industries. The Committee decides itself which subjects to investigate and takes both written evidence and oral evidence in public from individuals, academics, businesses, think-tanks and government ministers in order to gather material before then producing a report. The Government have to respond to a report by the Committee within two months of its publication. A debate in the Chamber of the House of Lords often then follows.
In recent years, the Committee has produced reports on: The governance and regulation of the BBC, The future of investigative journalism, Broadband for all – an alternative vision, and Media Convergence. It is currently engaged in an inquiry into Media Plurality.