Philip Schlesinger's blog


In the nations, how to deal with questions of small scale are especially important in television production and that is why out of London quotas have proved to be key to at least some decentralisation.

The same issues arise for film production, distribution and consumption. As Scotland approaches its independence referendum this September, there have been the first stirrings of debate about film policy.

Philip Schlesinger, chair of the Advisory Committee for Scotland, has been a protagonist in the discussion and here reflects on current debate.

Creative Scotland’s role in film policy is not widely regarded as successful
Scottish newspapers

Along with my colleague Dr Alex Benchimol, Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Glasgow, I’ve been looking at the challenges the Scottish Press is facing, from adapting to a digital age to maintaining a distinct Scottish identity.

Can print journalism adapt to the digital revolution
BBC Scotland


The BBC asked me to write a comment for their website - here - on the broadcasting provisions in the Scottish Government’s White Paper, Scotland’s Future

They set it up in a useful way, as follows:

Independent Scottish broadcaster could have a trading relationship with the BBC

The Scottish Government has just published Scotland’s Future, its hefty policy blueprint for independence.

One section of this document is of special relevance to Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Scotland(ACS), namely Chapter 9, which deals with how the Scottish Government envisages the future of broadcasting and communications regulation in an independent country.

The debate steps up a gear

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
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

In a previous blog I pointed out how the Scottish Government (SG) was pushing along the path of institutional innovation in ways that challenge UK-wide regulation.

SG had published a paper on Economic and Competition Regulation in an Independent Scotland that sought to simplify the regulatory landscape.


Different models proposed

The Advisory Committee for Scotland (ACS) discusses a wide range of questions each year as part of its regular advice to Ofcom.

When Ofcom’s annual Communications Market Report (CMR) on Scotland is being compiled, we always comment on the findings before they become public. Now that the CMR for Scotland been published, it’s worth highlighting a few key issues.


Local issues brought into sharp focus

In Scotland, questions are being posed regarding the future regulatory regime for media and communications. In February, the Scottish Government published a report titled Economic and Competition Regulation in an Independent Scotland and this warrants attention.

Ofcom's performance questioned

Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has given Ofcom the go-ahead for the renewal of Channel 3 services.  New licences will be issued before the current ones expire in 2014, the year in which Scotland’s independence referendum will take place.

Getting to grips with localism
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