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"We should welcome John Whittingdale’s appointment as Culture Secretary" - Professor Jonothan Neelands

jonothanneelandsProfessor Jonothan Neelands from Warwick Business School and a Director of Study for the recent Warwick Commission report Enriching Britain; culture, creativity and growth Final Report said: “We should welcome John Whittingdale’s appointment as Culture Secretary. I am certain it will be of great benefit to DCMS to have such an experienced minister in this role.

“We know John Whittingdale did an expert job chairing the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee – demonstrating courage and integrity over issues such as phone hacking. I am confident that he will take a similarly measured and calm look at the future of the BBC.

“We should remember the BBC is one of our great national institutions. It is globally recognised and admired and provides services to the public at a relatively low cost.

“The licence fee also pays for research and development which is essential in digital age. For example, the corporation has exciting plans for a public digital space to ensure everyone has free access to the internet and its services. We also shouldn’t underestimate the BBC’s commitment to talent development and the fact it produces some of the best quality TV in the world. Its contribution to the industry as a whole and the creative industries ecosystem is significant.

“If the licence fee went and the BBC was forced to look to advertising revenues, it would have a massive impact on the market. If other commercial broadcasters have to compete with the BBC for advertising it will be devastating. The recent Warwick Commission report has demonstrated the importance of maintaining a productive balance between the commercial and publicly funded elements of the UK’s culture and media ecosystem and this must be taken into account when making any decisions of this kind.

“We of course no longer live in a world where television is only watched on sets in our living rooms – as was the case when the fee was first introduced – and there is lots of potential for new platforms. But it’s important we don’t damage the integrity of one of our finest institutions.”

Notes to Editors:

Professor Neelands is available for interviews.

Issued by Lee Page, Communications Manager, Press and Policy Office, The University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255, Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email: l.page@warwick.ac.uk.

Contact:

Lee Page

Communications Manager, University of Warwick

Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255

Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221

Email: l.page@warwick.ac.uk