Written evidence submitted by Decentered Media Ltd



Future of Public Service Broadcasting - DCMS Committee Call for Evidence

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Dr Rob Watson, Decentered Media



This is a submission in response to the call for evidence on the future of Public Service Broadcasting by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Decentered Media is an independent consultancy, research and training organisation, specialising in community media practices, governance and organisation development. Decentered Media advocates for the establishment of decentralised, independent community media that is supported through volunteer contributions, and has a primary purpose to promote social value, social cohesion and social gain by supporting civic deliberation and grassroots media literacies.


Response Context:

Regulation: Are the current regulations and obligations placed on PSBs, in return for benefits such as prominence and public funding, proportionate? What (if any regulation) must be introduced for SVoDs and other streaming services?


Representation: How would representation be protected if changes were made to the PSB model? How would the nations and regions be affected by changes to the PSB model? Is the ‘quota’ system the most efficient way to maintain and improve representation in broadcasting?


Accessibility: How would changes to the PSB model affect the accessibility of services? How would a wholly internet-based service compare to the current PSB model?


Impact: What value, if any, do PSBs bring to the UK in terms of economic (local and national), cultural and societal impact?


Looking Ahead: What must a PSB look like in a digital age? What services must they provide, and to whom? In what way, and to whom, must they be accountable? Is the term ‘public service broadcasting’ still relevant and, if not, what is a suitable alternative?