This week has turned into a fairly significant one for London’s media industry. A new media dawn may have begun. Two big things have happened:
- BBC News has moved into new premises. For over 40 years it has been based at BBC Television Centre in White City, west London. Now it’s moved to the expanded Broadcasting House, just north of Oxford St in central London. This new base will bring together under one roof BBC News on TV, on radio and online, and is now the largest news hub in Europe. BBC News is the largest broadcast news gathering organisation in the world, and employs over 2000 journalists. All this means a new era for BBC News. Interesting, in this era of cuts and financial constraints, that the department is moving closer to central London, rather than away from it. The BBC will now be slightly closer to Westminster, Whitehall, the West End and the City, and all the influential people who work in these environments.
- The major political parties have agreed on how best to implement the Leveson Inquiry recommendations. All are claiming victory. David Cameron has got his Royal Charter rather than an Act of Parliament, and Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband can claim there is a form of statutory underpinning to the new system of press regulation. Members of the Hacked Off campaign were also present at the final talks where the deal was sealed. Everybody seems happy with the new solution… everybody that is, apart from the press themselves. Today the publishers of the Sun, the Daily Mail, the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Express and the Daily Star (being six of the eight most popular papers in the country) said they would be taking legal advice before deciding whether to sign up to the new system of regulation. And all the major papers have expressed their annoyance they weren’t invited to the talks.
So this week, continue to pray like never before for a free and responsible media industry, based in London but impacting the whole of the nation. Pray for the BBC to fulfil its Royal Charter obligations to “inform and educate” as well as to “entertain.” And pray for the press to agree to a new system of self regulation with the politicians, and that we would have responsible yet aggressive investigative journalism in the UK. Pray for a new media dawn to arise.
Mark Williamson also blogs regularly at One Rock International, a training organisation resourcing missionary leaders across the globe. He’s passionate about good films, good food, getting into deep conversations, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna.