OFCOM PSB Review 10:”A Strange and Brittle set of Words”

October 15, 2008

Words and their interpretation are important. 

As seen in this Guardian article  featuring Sir Michael Lyons.

He added that when he read Ofcom’s second public service broadcasting review, published last month, he found the “wording relating to transferring Worldwide to Channel 4 … extraordinary”.

“At one point even [Ofcom chief executive] Ed Richards said of the wording he didn’t have responsibility for it … it’s a strange and brittle set of words,” Lyons said.

When asked what the BBC’s lawyers thought of the option of giving Channel 4 a slice of BBC Worldwide, he added: “My understanding is that it [Worldwide] can only be changed by statute and that would require public debate about whether or not that’s the right thing to do. Worldwide belongs to licence fee payers, not Ofcom and not the government either.”.

As I’ve said before interpreting legal documents may seem boring – but asking people precisely what they mean and to define their terms can be revealing.

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2 Responses to “OFCOM PSB Review 10:”A Strange and Brittle set of Words””

  1. catherinebray Says:

    Hi Nick,

    Love the blog. Would be keen to hear your take on Sly Bailey of Trinity Mirror’s recent speech attacking the Beeb’s “monopoly” on local online news coverage. I’ve written about it here (from my Channel 4 public service remit perspective, naturally): http://catherinebray.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/joanna-geary-sly-bailey/

    Shall be continuing to read all this Ofcom/licence fee stuff avidly; I suspect it’s likely to affect the renewal (or not) of my contract in January…

    Best,
    Catherine

  2. nickreynoldsatwork Says:

    I’m waiting for the market impact assessment Catherine!


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