Thursday, 25 September 2008
When Gordon Brown made his speech to the Labour party faithful this week he gave a list of decisions made by the government which he argued had made life better for people; 'Not by accident, but by our actions' he said. In a few years time if there is no local and regional TV news except on the BBC Ofcom will be forced to reflect that it is not by accident but by their actions, starting today. The release of the next phase of the PSB review is unmitigated bad news for the thousands of people who have written to Ofcom urging them to hold ITV to their public service obligations. Ofcom has wholeheartedly ignored the petitions, the postcards and the politicians and said 'yes' to ITV's wish list of cuts. Today's announcement signals a regulator that has failed in its remit and is intent on presiding over the decline and eventual death of local and regional news on the ITV network. All in all a dismal day for supporters of plurality and quality regional programming. We must not be downcast however. Those who oppose these plans must rally together to help ITV members in their fight against these cuts.