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The Ofcom Advisory Committee for Scotland has recently responded to the DCMS’s consultation on media ownership and plurality.

Fourteen years on from devolution, the consultation’s failure to explicitly address the distinct needs of the diverse nations of the UK is an astonishing lapse.

Online media

Plurality should be reviewed every five years

Ofcom's Advisory Committee for England will be revisiting an issue that continues to be unresolved: How fast must internet speeds be to meet our needs in Britain?

We know there are discrepancies in speed of networks within Britain, such as between deep rural and urban areas.

These are relatively straightforward to discuss on such criteria as equity, and efforts to enable rural areas to develop a digital economy, and not disadvantage businesses, such as B&Bs in rural areas, where the lack of broadband connections can undermine their viability.

Expect the unexpected and plan for it...

Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Wales (ACW) feels that it is an opportune time to re-examine Channel 4’s remit and its meaning.

While Channel 4 attempts to address the portrayal of ethnic and sexual minorities, as well as disabled people, we believe that the concept of ‘a culturally diverse society’ does not adequately demonstrate the need for the Channel to reflect the cultural diversity of all the component countries of the UK.

UK nations' diversity not properly represented in channel's output
Welsh flag

The Ofcom Advisory Committee for Wales has recently submitted a response to the DCMS consultation on media ownership and plurality to provide our views on how we create and maintain a plurality of media voices in Wales and the other nations of the UK.

The devolved nations represent distinct democratic units within the UK, with their own democratic institutions. Therefore, media plurality in news and current affairs plays a vital role in ensuring a well-functioning democratic society in these nations.


Diversity as important as market share
Channel 4 office.jpg

Ofcom is presently consulting on the terms for renewing Channel 4’s licence (see here). Earlier this week, the Advisory Committee for Scotland posted its thoughts on Advice to Ofcom (see here), find below the full submission from the Advisory Committee for England (ACE).

Duration of licence

Channel not fulfilling its public service remit
Channel 4

The Advisory Committee for Scotland (ACS) has responded to Ofcom’s consultation on the renewal of Channel 4’s license.

We make four key points:

First, ACS agrees that Channel 4 needs to have a further period of ten years, to give it reasonable certainty.


More production and better portrayal required

The Ofcom Advisory Committee for Scotland has been discussing how schools in Scotland are using technology, and whether this is likely to increase the ‘digital divide’.

In England some schools now expect children to have an iPad or other device. In Scotland, because expectations are different, a requirement to have a device seems unlikely.

Being connected is vital for success in education
guitar man.jpg

You have probably heard the saying “there is a reason why we were given 2 ears but only 1 mouth.”

We know how important listening is offline, but how important is it to do online, especially in social media sites like Twitter? If you get 100 social media experts in a room debating the definition of social media, the word conversation will come up a number of times.

Listen before you speak online

Ofcom has announced new appointments to the Content Board, and among three new appointments are a member of the Advisory Committee for England, Andrew Chitty (ACE),  and a member of the Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland, Andrew Colman (ACNI). The third new appointment is Lesley Mackenzie.

The news release issued by Ofcom is at:

Three new members

Sejul Malde, Research Manager at Culture 24 urges the cultural sector to pull the plug on overblown digital rhetoric” and get on with using its tools to understand and respond to their audience base.

Don't talk about, just get on with it