Last week, the Scottish Broadcasting Commission met for the first time. It outlined its likely areas of interest and suggested the range of organisations and individuals to whom it might like to talk. For our part, the BBC, like the other broadcasters, will inevitably be at the heart of a discussion that is both timely and is one which we welcome.
Broadcasting, in this country, offers a medium for cultural expression that is unparalleled in its accessibility and in its ability to interpret and influence the lives of Scotland’s citizens. It plays a crucial part in reflecting that unique experience, in all its depth and richness, to ourselves, to the rest of the UK and further afield. Consequently, that it matters, that broadcasting demands to be nurtured and developed almost goes without saying – and it is no less than those who pay for its services deserve.
The Commission has indicated that it will look at the economic, cultural and democratic impact of broadcasting in Scotland. However, its work comes at a time of flux for the industry in this country. SMG is looking to revitalise its business by focussing on core television interests, the independent production sector is feeling the financial pinch – recent press reports suggest Lion and Endemol are both intent on scaling back or restructuring their operations north of the border – and, before the end of the year, BBC Scotland will announce its detailed plans to help deal with the