Select Committee on Broadcasting First Report


The Broadcasting Committee has agreed to the following Report:—



1. The House of Commons had discussed, and rejected, the televising of its proceedings for over 20 years when, on 9 February 1988, a substantial majority voted for a television experiment; this began in November 1989, with the House agreeing on 19 July 1990 to the experiment becoming permanent.[7] Although doubts were expressed in the beginning, the intervening ten years have confirmed that televising and sound broadcasting are here to stay. With the exception of a few dissenting voices, no one now disputes that the broadcasting of Parliament is permanent.

2. As the tenth anniversary of the decision to televise the House of Commons approached, the Broadcasting Committee agreed that it should undertake an inquiry into how best Parliament should be broadcast in the future, drawing on the lessons learnt over the past years, and taking into account the advent of new technologies.

3. During the course of the inquiry, the Committee took evidence on four occasions; the witnesses are listed on page xxxiv.

4. The Committee also undertook two visits; to the US Capitol and C-SPAN in Washington DC, and the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, and to the offices of BBC Parliament. These visits were invaluable and provided much useful background information. The meetings held during these visits are listed on pages xxii-xxiii. The Committee wishes to place on record its thanks to all those people who gave so generously of their time.

7   Official Report, 19 July 1990, Cols 1223-1276 Back

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