Select Committee on BBC Charter Review Second Report


CHAPTER 1: Introduction

1.  In November 2005 we published our first report on the review of the BBC's Royal Charter. That report focussed on whether the Government's proposals in the Green Paper "Review of the BBC's Royal Charter. A strong BBC, independent of government" would really secure that aim. The purpose of that report was to make sure Parliament's opinions on the Green Paper were heard before the Government finalised their plans for the future of the BBC and published the White Paper on the subject.

2.  The Government had originally told us that the White Paper would be published in November 2005. In order to ensure that our first report came out in time to influence the White Paper we were forced to constrain our inquiry. We were therefore unable to fully explore all the areas we felt merited scrutiny. As a consequence our inquiry was extended so that we could produce this second report.

3.  This report covers areas that we did not have time to consider in our first report and it also returns to some areas we referred to before but felt required further consideration. We note that the Government's White Paper has been delayed several times and is now expected in March 2006. We look forward to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport coming to give oral evidence to us once the White Paper has been published.[1]

4.  The membership of the Committee and the financial interests of the members are set out in Appendix 1 and our Call for Evidence in Appendix 3. We received valuable written and oral evidence from the witnesses listed in Appendix 2. In the course of our inquiry we travelled to the Greater Manchester area and to Northern Ireland. We wish to thank all those who contributed to this inquiry. As with our first inquiry we benefited from the invaluable assistance of our Specialist Advisor Professor Richard Collins, Professor of Media Studies at the Open University.

1   Q 1890 of the Secretary of State's evidence to the Committee's first inquiry (HL Paper 50-I) Back

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