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Lords quiz columnist, academic and Opendemocracy chair about BBC Charter Renewal


The House of Lords' Communications Committee will continue its investigation into the BBC Charter Renewal by questioning Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners and former Chairman of Channel 4; Professor Steve Barnett, University of Westminster and David Elstein, Chairman of Opendemocracy.net.

In the first session, at 3:45pm, the Committee will hear from Professor Barnett, Professor of Communications at Westminster University.  The Committee is expected to ask Professor Barnett about issues including how well he feels the BBC are achieving the aims set out in the public purposes, and whether the purposes need reforming; how he would define the terms ‘universality' and ‘market failure' and his assessment of the way in which the funding settlement for the BBC was reached in July.

Following on, at 4:30pm, the Committee will question Luke Johnson and David Elstein. The witnesses are likely to face questions including:

  • How well do you feel that the BBC's public purposes have achieved/are achieving their aims?
  • How do you think having a set of public purposes helps to determine what the scope and scale of the BBC should be?
  • How would you define the terms ‘universality' and ‘market failure' as they relate to the BBC?
  • How would you define distinctiveness for the BBC?
  • Can you suggest ways in which the mechanism for setting the licence fee for the BBC could be altered in the future?

The evidence sessions will take place from 3.45pm, on Tuesday 15 September in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords.

The sessions will be webcast at www.parliamentlive.tv and are also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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