Directors UK welcomes the Culture, Media and Sport Committee Report on “Future of the BBC” in advance of the Charter renewal process.
The CMS Committee report addresses the BBC’s proposals to reduce in-house BBC quotas and establish BBC Productions as a stand-alone subsidiary. Directors UK supports the committee’s caution that decisions must not be made simply on the basis of cost but also on quality and approves of the committee's call that the BBC “must not allow commercial gain to trump the BBC's main purpose as a public service broadcaster”. Directors UK rejects the suggestion that the BBC should become solely a publisher-broadcaster. Any proposal to establish BBC Productions as a stand-alone subsidiary needs to be subject to careful scrutiny and debate to ensure that the BBC’s ability to create distinctive and innovative programmes would not be affected and the impact on the wider creative community must be considered.
Directors UK supports the report's call for the training and development of talent and skills in the creative media industries to be included in the BBC’s core public purposes. In an industry with an increasingly fragmented freelance workforce Directors UK has strongly advocated the need for industry investment in and support for training and career skills development. The BBC has a vital role to play in delivering this. Directors UK will continue to work with the BBC and other broadcasters and production companies to deliver this.
Directors UK also supports the call for the BBC and other broadcasters to improve diversity both on and off screen. Directors UK has been actively campaigning to improve the representation of women and BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) directors in UK television production. A Directors UK report updating research data on the gender employment levels of TV directors will be published in the summer and research is currently underway for a new report on ethnicity and employment among TV directors.
Directors UK is a supporter of the BBC licence fee and would welcome its renewal in the next Charter review.