Charter Proposals: Your Views

Tony Hall Tony Hall making his announcement on the new proposals for the BBC

Two colleagues share their thoughts on the Charter proposals outlined on Monday by Director General Tony Hall at the Science Museum in London.

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Claire Timms, Editor, New Media at BBC London (English Regions NBH) was encouraged by what she heard, saying: "The message seems to be that we are going to be more open going forward, more open to making our content available to external organisations and being more collaborative.

"I think this is the the right way to go in the current climate. We are part of the media landscape, a big part, and we should be working in partnership with, not against, organisations."

However, Claire believes we must guard against complacency and also robustly defend ourselves against criticism.

She said: "We have lots of critics only too happy to see us cut back, sold off or closed down. But we also have a very large and loyal audience who, rightly, have high expectations. We should stand up and be more robust in defending ourselves against our critics, counteracting the negativity and not letting lazy, inaccurate and stereotypical lies thrown at us go unchallenged. But, we must be wary of arrogance. I do think the BBC will look very different in a decade."

One element of the proposals that really pleases Claire is the collaboration with local media organisations. She said: "I worked in regional papers for a decade before joining the BBC and have a huge affection and respect for them but I, like many, am very concerned about their future.

"We should be doing what we can to help - making our content available to them, linking out to them and finding a solution to the reduction in local court reporting. I think this is the right thing to do. Having said that, some newspaper groups are doing perfectly well without us so we need to guard against being patronising."

Encouraged and excited

Adam Williams, Sport Website Regional Journalist, English Regions New Media, Southampton, also approves of this collaborative approach. He said: "As a former local newspaper reporter, I'm most interested in the idea of working in partnership with local publishers and how that can continue to serve the public interest and hold public bodies and figures to account.

"From experience, when news outlets work together, democracy is better served. This is particularly relevant when covering court proceedings and local authority decision-making. I hope this initiative will be supported with enthusiasm by all parties involved.

"Overall, I'm encouraged and excited by the proposals and feel they will ensure we continue to showcase our best content and stay relevant to our audience, ensuring we offer what it wants most and, more importantly, when and how it wants it.

"I feel the future of the BBC has immense potential. I can see real opportunities to progress and enhance the services we already provide as well as the chance to refine those which currently do not maximise their reach."

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