for diverse, democratic and accountable media
Monday, 22 February, 2016, 18.00-20.30
House of Commons Committee Room 10
The NUJ's cross-party Parliamentary Group is holding a meeting about the future of public service broadcasting.
With concerns about the privatisation of Channel 4, the potential sale of ITV, the renewal of the BBC's charter, plus funding of S4C, the NUJ is bringing together supporters of a broadcasting service which serves all the UK's viewers and to join a campaign for quality public service TV and against privatisation.
David Cameron and George Osborne are now meeting journalism industry bosses as frequently as before the hacking scandal broke in July 2011, research by Press Gazette suggests. Following the closure of the News of the World, and the subsequent Leveson Inquiry, Cameron's close relationship with senior figures at News International (now News UK) came under particular scrutiny.
Information about prison attacks,penalty fares on London Overground, whistleblowing policies in the NHS andparking tickets has all been withheld under the Freedom ofInformation (FOI)Actbecause this information was heldby public authority contractors and not by the authorities themselves.
In a week when the BBC has been hit by yet more scandal as a result of suppressing an investigation into the notorious paedophile Jimmy Savile, we ask: does the BBC need an investigations unit?
The BBC has more journalists than any other media outlet in Britain, but out of those 4,000 men and women, yes 4,000, precisely none of them work in an investigations unit. The Sunday Times, Guardian, Telegraph and Mail have far less journalists between them but they all maintain centralized investigations units.
At the same time the BBC thinks it right to employ between 150 and 200 press officers. Yes, the BBC’s budget is being squeezed mercilessly, but it is about priorities. Newspaper hacks are judged by their ability to find news. They complain that many BBC journalists go through whole careers without breaking a story.