On Tuesday 26 November, the House of Lords Communications Committee will put questions to representatives of the BBC Trust, and following that, to Rt Hon Maria Miller MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
On any assessment, the BBC makes a major contribution to the provision and consumption of news and current affairs in the UK. With that in mind, on 23 July 2013, the Committee took evidence from the BBC itself, and sought an account of the ways in which the BBC currently helps to provide a plural diet of news and current affairs to UK citizens.
The Committee will now explore some of these questions further, with the following representatives of the BBC Trust:
Diane Coyle, Vice Chairman; and
Alex Towers, Deputy Director of the Trust Unit.
In particular the Committee will ask the Trust, which carries responsibility to govern and set the strategic objectives for the BBC, whether there is any case to be made for the BBC to operate differently from the way it currently does, in the interests of media plurality in the longer term.
Following on, at 4.30pm, the Committee will conduct its final evidence session on this inquiry by questioning Rt Hon Maria Miller MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
The Government launched a consultation on media ownership and plurality on 30 July 2013, with the closing deadline for responses on 22 October 2013.
The Committee will therefore ask questions about any headline themes to have emerged in the early stages of the Department’s analysis of this consultation, how they will take the Committee’s own report into account and about the next steps the Government plans to take after this.
The evidence sessions will take place on Tuesday 26 November from 3.30 pm in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords.
The session will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.