Blog post

Dan Hind's media proposals taken up by shadow media minister

Tamar Shlaim14 May 2012

Dan Hind's The Return of the Public (out in paperback this month) has been cited by the shadow media minister, Helen Goodman, in proposals to democratise the BBC's output: 

We are always being told that it is "our BBC" - usually by the BBC itself. But lately some high-profile voices appear to be taking that idea seriously.

Helen Goodman, Labour's shadow media minister, has recently weighed in with a suggested collaboration with the BBC on a system of citizen commissioning allowing the public to schedule a set number of hours of radio and TV programmes...

She said her inspiration was a book by the journalist and author Dan Hind called The Return of the Public. Hind's 2010 polemic sets out a series of proposals intended to democratise public debate through a system of citizen-led editorial commissioning.

The subtitle of the piece asks "unworkable extremism or an idea whose time has come?". 

"...the public should commission all the programmes and of course that idea is over the top," Goodman said. "But there is something in the idea of the public having a say in what is aired - people coming together and having two hours a week on Radio 4, for example, saying they want to hear something about a particular subject. I am thinking, say, for two hours a week on the BBC. It is an interesting idea which I intend to take up with the BBC."

In fact, the book argues for a public commissioning system that would run alongside existing media, not replace it. But it is great to see these ideas being taken up by policy makers.  

Visit the Guardian to read the full article. 

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