The challenges

Standards like the watershed (external website) don't apply to TV generally. They only apply to TV content which happens to be broadcast.

That was OK in the past; the only type of TV available was broadcast.

However, all the media industries: television, newspapers, radio, film – they don’t just reach us on paper, through our aerials, satellite dishes and so on anymore. They all reach us over the internet as well.

That means that the same types of content will increasingly reach us in new ways and although they will look the same, they will be subject to different standards.

At the moment, for most people, this isn’t causing serious problems.

But in time, as our ways of watching, reading and listening to the media change, the way content standards has worked – and worked well – for decades, will stop making any sense and will start to become confusing.

This is before we even start to think about the fact that content can reach us over the internet from places completely outside our control, outside UK jurisdiction.

Taken together, this is why content standards is one of the things we have been looking at closely in this inquiry, and in the video on the solutions we are putting forward, we will say something about how we think it would be sensible to bring the whole system up to date.