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Speeches

John McCormick

Controller of BBC Scotland


James Smart Lecture


8 November 2001
Printable version

I'm honoured by the invitation to give this annual lecture in memory of James Smart, the first Chief Constable of my home city of Glasgow. If I may say so it's typically generous of the capital city to host an occasion in honour of one of Glasgow's most famous sons - giving the lie to the rivalry between the two cities.


(primus inter pares)


One of my late colleagues, Richard Francis, delivered this lecture almost 20 years ago, in 1982. Since then change on many fronts - social, economic and technological - has had a dramatic impact on the work of both police and broadcaster.


At the beginning of 1982 the UK had only three TV channels. But the first steps were being taken which would lead to a technological revolution - a move from analogue to digital technology - which means that 20 years later there is not only the possibility of hundreds of new channels but also new types of services which will change fundamentally the broadcasting landscape and the role the broadcaster plays in society. As we move through this period of dramatic, turbulent, change our aim is to ensure that the principles of public service broadcasting endure in the new digital environment.


Since its foundation 80 years ago the BBC has shaped the broadcasting industry in the UK. It did so for the first 30 years as a monopoly supplier - it was the broadcasting industry. For the next 30 it was part of what was called the cosy duopoly - where commercial TV had a monopoly of TV advertising and competed with the BBC only for the audiences attention. Not for the source of funding. It was in that protected, closely regulated environment that Britain's public service broadcasting system flourished.


John Reith's great achievement as its founder was establishing the independence of the BBC - independence from government - and linking its public funding, through the licence fee, directly to its customers.


In return the BBC had a duty of impartiality laid upon it - a duty that did not apply to newspapers. That principle of impartiality, was underlined by the need to strive for accuracy and fairness at all times.


As we've moved through the 20th century to the 21st no one has improved on Reith's trinity of aims for the BBC: to inform, educate and entertain.


Most of the challenging areas of our work that relate to the police come under the headings of information or perhaps education. But an important part of the entertainment has been our portrayal of the police, especially in drama.


The strong portfolio of drama based around the police in a way forms part of our social history for more than forty years, from Dixon of Dock Green through to City Central and Cops.


As each new series is launched the broadcasters, writers, producers and actors take stock and, since the programmes are meant to entertain their audience, as well as inform and, perhaps, challenge - to assess the approach that matches the audiences' current expectations; expectations that have to be addressed if the series is to have a chance of success.


In short, any contemporary series has to be believable.


Examining the police drama series of the last 40 years or so tells you much about broadcasting styles but they say something, too, about changing social attitudes to the police and how the police wished themselves to be portrayed.


One piece of research in the 1970s told us that the most famous policeman in history was not Robert Peel, or any chief constable but a police constable - George Dixon.

Dixon of Dock Green entertained Saturday evening audiences from 1955 to 1976. An incredible record, moving from the 50s, through the changing social trends of the 60s and into the 70s - with a mix of homespun philosophy and public information messages which preached reassurance to millions.

Police knew it was a romantic unrealistic representation but there were few complaints about that at the time. By and large it was how they wanted to be presented to the public - the policeman as hero, always finding the solution.

Looking back on the series, Alex Marnoch ex commander of Brixton police station in south London, the location of the fictional Dock Green, said "I never knew a George Dixon and I joined the force in 1959. The programme was stereotyped and not very realistic".


Something approaching realism came in the form of Z Cars with the police portrayed as human beings, with weaknesses and eccentricities, a group of men - all the leading roles were for men - who were as likely as any other social group to include a drunk, a gambler or a wife beater.


Z Cars overlapped with Dixon and lasted an amazing 18 years before it, too, eventually outstayed its welcome. Towards the end, in the assessment of many of the police, it was not reflecting anything that was happening on the streets. Crime and policing had moved on - its portrayal on TV had not.

The last 20 years, however, have seen TV drama where the representation of the police has been more in touch with changing styles and attitudes - The Sweeney, Law & Order, Between The Lines, The Bill, Taggart, The Cops, all taking a quite different approach to their benchmark predecessors, Dixon and Z Cars.


Series created by writers as different in their beliefs and motivations as G F Newman and John Hopkins. Newman who described his series Law & Order as "more anchored in reality - exploring the thin line between policeman and villain - to show the policeman as essentially corrupt"

Hopkins, on the other hand, widely regarded as one of the greatest TV writers of the last 30 years said his task was to explore man's compromise with evil and the police's "commitment to our safety and what the cost is to them; how much in terms of ordinary life they sacrifice to be our guardians"


Over the years these series have taken account of the increasing sophistication of the viewing audience well able to discriminate between drama and reality, fact and fiction.


Alan Plater - another distinguished playwright - noted it is often easier and more honest to present truth through drama; through fiction rather than through documentary evidence which is incomplete.


Robert Reiner, Professor of Criminology at the London School of Economics and Political Science said:


"Overall, I think the fictional representation of the police has worked towards the legitimation of the police. In the culture of the 1950s, if you'd shown the police behaving the way the bill do, it would have shocked people. The changing representations are really ways of maintaining a degree of acceptance for the police in a climate of changing cultural expectations. All of these series represent the police essentially as heroic figures struggling to do a job under very difficult circumstances."

As the issues become more complex, the challenges and dilemmas faced by the police today continue to be represented in drama but also in a range of other genres, especially documentaries and features which look at changing police methods, the causes of crime, and programmes like Crimewatch (and its many successors) and Car Wars (made with the co-operation of Strathclyde Police) which make a significant contribution to the process of policing and detection, stressing the role of the ordinary citizen in helping the police.


Programmes which, I believe, demonstrate the wider social purpose that TV can perform.


Of course it is when you move from features to journalism - news and current affairs - that we move into the territory where we come into contact with a more challenging set of issues.

The broadcaster's aim is to provide information, to be revelatory. I think it is true to say that that is not always the aim of the police - one reason why we operate within such clear guidelines which set down the parameters within which our producers are expected to work . They are a definition and a compendium of good practice.


Over 300 pages they lay down the ground rules on the BBC's values and standards with sections devoted to impartiality and accuracy, fairness to contributors, privacy and taste and decency.


There are three sections on politics and seven on matters of law. A major section on editorial issues in factual programming includes sections on reporting crime, terrorism and national security, confidentiality and relations with the police.

We know that there is general agreement of the soundness of these guidelines. They underline the BBC's commitment to fairness in our journalism and all our programme making. They provide a framework within which producers can approach sensitive, difficult issues. Issues which challenge existing practice and demand sound judgement.


We tussle with these every day. Once the newsgathering process has taken place serious editorial decisions have to be taken as to what is selected for transmission. We must take into consideration issues of taste and decency, especially when there are shots of abusive or violent behaviour, taking into account the timing of the transmission and the overall context in which the story will be placed - while remaining true in words and pictures to what actually happened.

We have to be sensitive too, for example, to issues such as whether coverage of violent and irresponsible public protest gives encouragement - the oxygen of publicity - or whether it acts as a check on excessive force, from whatever quarter. These issues confront us in all sorts of areas from anti-paedophile protests in a local community to the events that surrounded the summit of the G8 nations in Genoa.


We take these issues seriously, debate them, interrogate our coverage, learn from each other and from audience reaction and where necessary, amend our guidelines accordingly.


And we recognise that it is inevitable that the interests of the police and the broadcaster will not march together - I think that each of us respects that we have fundamentally different functions.


The police have the job of investigating crime with a view to reporting that to the procurator fiscal for possible prosecution. The BBC's function, in terms of its charter, is to report the news to the public. The BBC journalists, like all journalists working for any news organisation, want to report the news as fully and as quickly as possible. This means, therefore, that the BBC will only accept restrictions on its ability to report everything fully and immediately when there is a sound legal or policy reason for not doing so.

For example, a request from the police for a news blackout during a siege situation will meet with a positive response from the BBC and other broadcasters. Journalists accept that, although their job is to report the news to the public as soon as possible, in this kind of scenario that is outweighed by the greater good of the safety of those involved as hostages in the siege. And informal requests from the police to journalists for information will also usually meet with a positive response. Broadcasters should also be good citizens. However, we do have concerns in some areas particularly at the moment with interpretation of the data protection and human rights acts.

There will always be, of course, a healthy tension between broadcasters and police forces who have their own responsibilities and their own interpretation of these acts. However, we have been concerned that some police forces are interpreting their data protection obligations in a way that obstruct the free flow of information.


A particular problem for example has arisen around naming victims of accidents or crime. If someone is involved in an accident it may be both appropriate and also the best practical solution for the police to ask their relatives whether their names can be revealed. But the difficulties in implementing this has led to some police forces not releasing any details about the victims of accidents at all.

If the person involved is a public figure who may have been driving while over the limit, you can see the potential for the data protection act to be used as an excuse to suppress information that should be in the public domain. The result is that some police are oversensitive about their perceived obligations under the data protection act of 1998, and the Human Rights Act 1998, rather than the rights of the public and the media to a free flow of information in the public interest.


Some ignore the exemptions provided for the media under the DPA. Much of the information they hold back could be supplied under the provisions that state they can release information 'for policing purposes'. Releasing more rather than less information could lead to the swifter apprehension of criminals.


Following informal meetings between media representatives and ACPO(s) a set of guidelines, as I understand it, has now been drawn up. It is hoped that this will work well. It is the BBC's experience that practice is not uniform throughout Scotland. There are some forces simply less willing to come forward with the information about who was injured in an accident, and the like, than others.


We also believe that it is perfectly legitimate for a journalist to ask the police if someone has been arrested or not. It is by no means unknown for the police to refuse to answer this question. This may not only be contrary to police interests but also to the interests of justice. Section 3 of the contempt of court act 1981 says that if journalists have made reasonable inquiries and have no reason to believe that an arrest has been made (so making proceedings "active") that journalists can proceed with a story, which would otherwise be deemed to be contempt of court, in complete safety. In this as in other matters, the service you get as a journalist depends on the part of the country you're working in.


Another area of concern, more recently in the news, arises in the case of search warrants seeking news pictures of untransmitted material shot at public events. Our reluctance to hand over such material merits some explanation. I'm sure its misunderstood in some quarters.

(Those of you who have served as police officers in England will be well aware of the provisions of the police and criminal evidence act (PACE) in that jurisdiction. There, it is necessary for journalistic material to be treated as a special category. If the police want film from the BBC or any other broadcaster, they have to go to court for a pace order. They also have to identify the material very specifically).

Furthermore, the BBC and other news organisations are given the opportunity of addressing the court as to why it may not be right to order release of the material - or at least all of the material.


In Scotland there is no such provision. In my time as controller of BBC Scotland only on one occasion has the BBC been notified by a Scottish court of an application made by the crown for a search warrant and invited to address the court. When our lawyers were asked to go to court on that occasion (in Dundee in 1993), the result was a very different form of words on the search warrant than that which would have obtained if we had not had our say.


All this has recently been in the news after the public disorder at Govanhill baths in Glasgow in August. Although the police had their own video camera there, they obtained a warrant to take all transmitted and untransmitted video footage from BBC Scotland HQ in Glasgow. When the terms of the warrant were faxed to our legal department our lawyers took the view that it was excessively wide. They were given instructions to try to have the warrant set aside. They immediately set in train the process of instructing counsel to petition the high court by means of a bill of suspension. They also sent the tapes of the Govanhill disorder out of the office for the purpose of lodging in the high court in connection with the bill of suspension.

When the police arrived, they were far from pleased to be given an account of the decision we had taken! Indeed, it is my understanding that there was some talk of arresting one of our lawyers for obstructing the police in the course of their duty.


So some explanation is due.


The BBC's position is that staff on the ground must be protected. If photojournalists are seen as no more than an arm of the police, they will be in considerable danger from demonstrators.


The prime concern of the BBC and other journalistic organisations is to supply the public with news - the basic job of journalism. The law recognises the importance of that task in a democratic society by making freedom of speech one of the "fundamental freedoms" recognised under the European Convention. It is similarly recognised in the constitutions of all democratic nations throughout the world.


In order to enable journalists to exercise freedom of speech (something which they do not in their own interests but on behalf of you and me - the public) they require a special degree of protection. In highly-charged public disorder situations, such as that seen at the Govanhill baths, if newspaper and broadcast photojournalists simply hand over their pictures to the police, they will quite justifiably be seen by demonstrators as little more than an information-gathering service for the police.


Conversations with journalists after such ugly scenes often involve tales of threats by demonstrators who anticipate that the pictures may find their way into the hands of the constabulary. Usually, an explanation that they will remain with the journalist unless the court orders otherwise is sufficient to ward off violence.


In England, there have even been occasions when the police, recognising this privileged position which photo-journalists occupy, have masqueraded as broadcast cameramen. (happily, not in Scotland). The police nowadays routinely video public demonstrators for information-gathering purposes. However, they do not have the same degree of freedom to roam within the demonstrators as photo-journalists. That is, we believe, because the stance presently taken by the BBC against the handing over of their pictures is generally understood by the demonstrators.


In England it is almost invariably the case that the court orders disclosure of material. In balancing possible damage to freedom of speech as against the public interest in the investigation and prosecution of crime, the court regularly comes down on the side of the investigation of crime. That serves the journalists' purpose very well. The untransmitted material is released only when the court says so. Journalists, and the BBC in particular, are asking for no more that that.

I believe that the agreement between BBC Scotland's legal department and the crown over the Govanhill tapes is a useful step forward in the relationship between broadcasters and the police. The crown has accepted that, in future cases when untransmitted film is sought, the crown will intimate the fact that the police are applying for a search warrant to the BBC (or other broadcaster).

There will then be a court hearing at which the BBC's comments, if any, on the terms of the application by the police can be made. In that way, the interests of the broadcaster in protecting staff from danger on the ground will be satisfied.

I hope this will lead to a better understanding of, and respect for, our very different interests in relations to such testing situations.

There is another important area where we would like to see change. Change which we believe would lead to a better understanding of the justice system in Scotland.


We believe that in a modern Scotland with its own parliament it is time that we took a bold step in the way that justice in our courts is covered. The televising of court proceedings, subject to careful conditions and within the constraints of the BBC's editorial standards, would represent a significant shift in the way that the media, and specifically the electronic media, reports on the way that court business is handled.


We start from the position that in a modern Scotland it is important for the administration and execution of justice that justice is not only done but that it is seen to be done.


It follows therefore, that where the coverage of court cases has existed as a key ingredient for newspapers and magazines, we believe that in the age of digital television and the internet it is not unreasonable for courts and for the wider legal profession to give serious consideration to rethinking the needs of citizens, who, for practical and other reasons cannot attend court hearings, but who would take an interest in coverage of cases.

Let me be quite clear that in trying to balance the needs of the system, the access of citizens to justice, the demands of the media and the way that many people live modern lives, I am not championing box-office demands under the guise of public service broadcasting. A modern system should enable the courts administration and the presiding judge to retain substantive powers to control the nature of daily coverage of a particular case, the admissibility of evidence and other facets. (These detailed matters, however, are for another place).


This is not a spurious attempt to create OJ Simpson-style media circuses. Nor is it designed to reassure people here or beyond that there are no discomforts for the profession. This is not the place to stray into practical details, but I would hope that the profession will move some way towards our position as we make the case for cameras in the courts.


Why is it the case that newspaper reporters - unless restrictions have been introduced - are able to report daily on proceedings without apparently any quibble from prosecution, defence or indeed presiding judges? There would be no difference in electronic transmissions of the progress of a case, except that it might help to dispel arguments about interpretation, accuracy and tone.


Undoubtedly, there are people who will resist such a move on the basis that it would interfere with the safe and efficient execution of justice. I have not heard or seen any convincing evidence that, with appropriate controls, this would be the inevitable outcome. I have seen evidence of televised trials for example at the international war crimes tribunal in the Hague. We know that CNN will cover a part of the arold Shipman public inquiry in Manchester. I am confident that the safeguards which govern the work that we as a public service broadcaster undertake would serve such coverage well.


The Scottish parliament is considering a freedom of information bill and therefore it is, I would suggest, timely to consider afresh the issue of televising the courts with a view to bringing it about in the short to medium term.


Let us consider the issue in the context of freedom of information. Such a regime concerns openness and transparency. The aim of the legislation as I understand it is to hold up public bodies to scrutiny by allowing the public more access to information concerning actions taken by these bodies in the public's name. The underlying philosophy is that the public pay for and are affected by these bodies and therefore, in a democracy, should be able to find out what is being done by them.

Courts are public bodies. They are paid for by the public purse. Judges, clerks and all court officials are public employees. The court buildings are paid for and maintained by the public. The prosecution of criminal cases is paid for by the public. In criminal cases the defence is paid for by the public under legal aid.


The 1992 guidelines which presently govern tv cameras in the courts are unsustainable for a number of reasons:
They act against the system of open justice which allows the public the best and most convenient form of access available to public courts;

they deny the public access at the whim of the accused or his lawyers;

they in effect treat criminal courts as the province of the accused and their legal advisers.

Experience shows that defence lawyers regard it as their right to decide if the public can have television access to public court proceedings. The experience is that, almost invariably, they choose to deny that.

I am not saying that every trial lends itself to television, but even in highly unusual or significant trials such as the Lockerbie trial at Camp Zeist, there is no access. Yet given the fact that the principle of open justice has been accepted in Scotland for hundreds of years, it is difficult to reconcile the situation here with that which exists overseas. The use of television in trials of significance is quite usual in many countries and in international courts. These include Nuremberg; the war crimes tribunal for the former leader of Yugoslavia at the Hague; there is also the televising of significant Mafia trials in Italy; France televised the trial of Klaus Barbie; and of course in the United States courts have been regularly televised.

China, Russia and New Zealand have all experimented successfully with the televising of important trials and again in America there was coverage of the Florida hearings following voting for the presidential election.


A word about Lockerbie. This was, as I don't need to remind this audience, the biggest mass murder trial ever prosecuted before a Scottish court.


In effect the public were denied access to the trial because hardly any Scots were able to make the journey to the Netherlands. If it had been held in Edinburgh, however, I don't believe the court would have been able to accommodate all those interested in observing proceedings.

BBC Scotland made it clear that we would be willing to broadcast the whole of the trial, unedited, and to share the footage with other broadcasters. It was also accepted that measures taken to obscure the identities of witnesses, or any other endeavour by the court, would be respected. Since a feed was already being provided to remote sites at New York, Washington, London and Dumfries, funded by the American department of justice, there would be no physical disruption or interference to the courtroom.


Our proposals were refused in their entirety, first administratively, secondly in a court action backed by other media organisations in March 2000 and finally by three judges in April 2000. These refusals were primarily on the basis of perceived impact on witnesses, although the flat refusal encompassed also the media's request to televise pure legal argument, like the closing submissions.


Discussions are now underway about televising parts of the Lockerbie appeal. This has met with a much more favourable response from the accused's lawyers and the court and we are hopeful that some advance may be achieved.

Inevitably there are misgivings within the legal profession about the efficacy of such a substantial change . I would ask those who feel alarm or resistance to think on the experience of first of all the Westminster parliament and then the Scottish parliament. It is easy to forget the considerable misgivings that many MPs had before cameras were allowed to capture elected representatives going about their legislative and scrutiny business.


These doubts have proved unfounded and in the case of, for example, the BBC's Westminster Live and Holyrood Live, the public seems to appreciate the coverage with substantial audiences every week. The courts might wish to consider a model for the provision of pictures and sound similar to that employed by the parliaments through which the courts administration would provide feeds to the media.


It was Bentham, philosopher and jurist, who said: "publicity is the soul of justice."


Televising the courts would I believe, bring the justice system, the police and the public closer together with citizens gaining a better understanding of how courts work and how and why the law is applied the way that it is.


How many police officers, lawyers and judges have winced at the regular stream of Anglo-American terms in common public use when people are trying to describe a Scottish trial? But how can we blame the ordinary law abiding person if they get it wrong, when they will see more American justice on screen than they will ever see Scots justice in practice?

Most people cannot attend a court; in any event most are too small to house a crowd and therefore people depend on the media for their information. We know that most people derive their news and current affairs coverage from television, so why not include televised court coverage as part of that?


Education, access, understanding and, I would argue, a strengthened system of justice. The time is right, we can build in safeguards and we can assist the justice system in Scotland - I trust the case for television in the courts will be given a fair hearing in the months ahead. For us it accords with the best traditions of public service broadcasting.

As I mentioned at the outset these public service broadcasting values have endured through a long period of restricted competition, restricted by spectrum scarcity and sometimes by regulation. They now have to be re-examined, tested and challenged as we move into the digital age - where spectrum scarcity is a thing of the past, bringing hundreds of new channels, where national boundaries are no longer barriers within which broadcasting can be closely regulated and where broadcasting moves from being a broadly passive to a potentially interactive activity.


The BBC which was a benchmark for the industry in the 20th century is now only one of many broadcasters - and not all share the same core cultural and social purposes.


Audiences expect broadcasting to meet many needs; entertainment, relaxation, inspiration, information, education, individual delight and shared experience.


They expect television and radio to extend their knowledge, inform political, consumer and life choices, offer access to the arts, stimulate curiosity and learning, provide insights into their own society as well as other communities; and to enrich daily life.


But as the pattern of our daily lives changes so our customers make new and different demands of us.

The development of digital technology is bringing new opportunities for audiences. It doesn't simply mean more services. It also means new types of services with the initiative passing from the broadcaster to the audience. Giving the consumer not only more choice but also more control, able to build their own schedule, select programmes when they want to watch them, not only when the broadcasters are able to deliver them.


It is the beginning of self scheduling, with many viewers deciding for themselves when they wish to receive programmes and in what order.


Where once we took pride in providing programmes of passionate interest to minority audiences, it has become increasingly easy, and cheap, to develop whole services for them.

National governments will only be able to regulate the content generated within their own boundaries. But this technology does not respect those boundaries. Digital brings services into the homes in the UK from around the globe.


If the BBC is to continue to be a major force in broadcasting it is important that it is at the heart of these developments. Not the only player as it was 80 years ago but one of the key players - making a strong, formative contribution based on the same public service principles. What's taking place is, in effect, the end of broadcasting as a separate industry, as a result of the convergence of publishing, computing, telephony and broadcasting. A business where we see the internet opening up new possibilities linking to television and radio services.

For the BBC, on-line is the third broadcast medium. Taken together this means that the BBC is now operating as a truly multi-media, interactive, global broadcaster.


We see the BBC's role as that of a trusted guide helping people to use the unfamiliar technology to access familiar information or guiding them to new information services, not necessarily created by the BBC.


We believe that the BBC will continue to have a public service role bringing different communities together, offering a level of public access that all can afford in an increasingly commercial and bewildering digital market place.


For nearly 80 years we have been working to earn the trust of our audiences. And there is no doubt that the BBC is an organisation that is trusted. By and large people do believe us and trust what we do.


That trust between the BBC and the public is essential if we are to make our contributions to the democratic process and to an open and tolerant - and law-abiding society.


Let's be clear - civil society would not collapse without responsible broadcasting but I do believe that the right kind of television and radio can make a difference - adding to the lives of individuals and communities rather than diminishing them.


This means that throughout our programme services we respect diversity, have a concern for human dignity and make a contribution to building a tolerant and open society.


Those objectives are never more important than at a time like the present with our forces engaged in warfare.


As always with war, we are having to fight on two fronts. On the one hand is the sheer logistical and editorial difficulty in covering a conflict in which only 10% of the action is visible, and where even that is clouded by military fog and frontier restrictions. On the other, is the inevitable pressure about the nature of the coverage itself.


At one level, this is nothing new but it remains peculiarly difficult, for the BBC. The difficulties come in relation to maintaining its credibility. Credibility counts not just with the domestic audience, but also with the many millions around the world, and especially now in Afghanistan itself, who rely on the BBC for reliable accurate and impartial reporting of the events which directly affect them.


The BBC is now truly a global information provider. The events of September 11 not only attracted large audiences to our domestic radio and TV services but also to our on line services. Seven million people came to our online news that day making 28 million page impressions, while 36 million watched on television.


They turn to the BBC for accurate news and information, but also to be helped to make sense of events through impartial analysis and offering a range of views and opinions, including the voices of opposition.


Of course, we are - and should be - sensitive to genuine issues of national security, including the personal security of the Prime Minister, and to the actual dangers to aircrew or ground forces arising from careless reporting or speculation, but we have to go on reporting events as they are, and not perhaps as some might wish them to be.


It is a basic tenet of our democracy that citizens need to know and be able to make informed decisions. If part of the reason for the war is to defend democratic values, we cannot afford to compromise on editorial independence and integrity. Nor can we afford to be thought to be a state as opposed to a public service broadcaster. There is a big difference.


The other big challenge we face is ensuring that all significant views are represented. Again, that will sometimes be difficult when a key part of this war is the propaganda battle. But the arguments have to be won on their own strength rather than attempting to rig the debate.

So at the heart of everything we do is to be a reliable source of information and to provide the opportunity for interrogation of that information. In that way trust in the broadcaster can support the democratic process and the national debate.


As the challenges facing all of us get more and more complex it is more important than ever that we can sustain that position.


In that context, the multi-media interactive digital age makes the issues raised by Dixon of Dock Green and Z Cars seem very far away indeed.



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