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Are public service broadcasters failing to represent society?


On Tuesday 21 May the House of Lords Communications Committee will continue taking evidence for its inquiry into public service broadcasting in the age of video on demand.

In the first session the Committee will consider how well public service broadcasters incorporate diversity into their programming so that a wide variety of UK audiences feel represented.

The evidence session will begin at 3.30pm in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords, the witnesses are:

  • Deborah Williams, Creative Diversity Network
  • Jasmine Dotiwala, Media Trust
  • Jonathan Kaye, independent disability access and inclusion consultant.

Questions the Committee are likely to ask include:

  • How public service broadcasters appeal to all people in the UK, including people with disabilities, people from different socio-economic groups and LGBT and BAME people
  • Whether public service broadcasters do enough to appeal to and represent the regions and nations of the UK
  • How public service broadcasters and policymakers could better support local production
  • How public policy could better support the development of skills in the production sector, particularly for under-represented groups.

In the second session beginning at 4.30pm, the Committee will meet representatives of production companies which made The Crown for Netflix and Sherlock for the BBC to discuss changes in the production sector, such as increased production costs.

  • Andy Harries, Left Bank Productions
  • Dan Cheesbrough, Hartswood Films

Topics likely to be covered include:

  • Alleged inflation in production costs
  • Co-productions between PSBs and streaming services
  • The distinctive value of public service broadcasting
  • The differences between producing content for public service broadcasters and producing content for subscription video on demand services.

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