BBC must adapt to digital age, say Ed Vaizey

Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Digital Economy, has agreed with BBC director general Tony Hall that the future government reviewing the BBC Charter must shape a BBC that is fit for the digital age.

Delivering a keynote speech at the Oxford Media Convention 2015, Vaizey reflected on the growth in the digital economy during his tenure as minister and spoke more widely on the role of government in the multi-media age.

Vaizey noted that since 2009 the creative industries in the UK had been a ‘brilliant’ success, rising three times faster than the economy as a whole, and the responsibility of the next government will be to build on this.

He stated that the most pressing issue facing the next Government will be the review of the BBC’s Charter, which has to be renewed at the end of 2016.

“The next government will have, in effect, 18 months to conduct the process. We made a conscious decision not to start the Charter Review before the general election. We didn’t want to get the BBC mixed up in partisan point scoring.”

While Vaizey avoided any political discussion about the BBC, ahead of the General Election in May, he did recognise the vital role the BBC plays in the digital economy and creative industries.

“There are many reasons why we need the BBC. Their recent commitment to work with UK-wide arts institutions and to support coding in schools are just two recent examples of this. Radio 1’s commitment to new music is another.

“We want to see a BBC that is fit for the digital age, able to fulfil the many roles that the BBC has done so successfully for many years – not just great content, but education and training, technical innovation, and a huge and irreplaceable contribution to civic society.”

DTG Staff  |  05.03.2015

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