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Tessa Jowell appoints Philip Graf to review BBC online services

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Tessa Jowell has announced that former Trinity Mirror Chief Executive Philip Graf has been appointed to conduct a review into BBCi.
The review will begin with a full public consultation and will also include an assessment of the impact that BBC Online has had on the Internet market. It will feed into the forthcoming review of the BBC's Charter, which expires at the end of 2006.
Speaking to broadcasting experts at the Edinburgh Television Festival Tessa Jowell said: "Reviews are vital to ensure that promises are kept, and that accountability is visible. There will be ample opportunity for everyone to put their case. We want to look at quality and value for money, how the online services fit with the BBC's public service remit, the services impact on competition and on the general development of the BBC's online services.
"I am confident that Philip Graf will utilise his wealth of experience within the communications industry to ensure that the review of BBC Online is both comprehensive and thorough."
The BBC has submitted a report on BBC online to the Department for Media, Culture and Sport, which will be considered as part of the review.
Philip Graf will submit a full report to the Secretary of State, which will be published by the DCMS. He said: "The BBC holds a unique place in our nation's cultural life and its website has been a significant part of the Internet revolution that has irrevocably altered communications in recent years. This is why I relish the opportunity to conduct this very important review. I can assure all concerned that it will be both open-minded and vigorous."
During her speech Tessa Jowell talked about the power of the best of public service broadcasting to provide the ultimate in collective popular culture, which unites generations. She said: "Public service broadcasting serves people in their role as citizens as much as it serves them as consumers. It gives them the information that people need to understand public affairs, both to observe but also to participate if that is what they want to do.
"Public service broadcasting does this when times are quiet and the news is dull, as well as when events grip the attention and boost the ratings. And it is more than news, it is also about explanation, context, contending voices, as well as factual reporting. The market cannot be guaranteed to do this.
"Public service broadcasting also helps with identity. It speaks of who we are, of our differences and our similarities. It nurtures our national, regional, local and social identities, respecting them history and cultures that make us what we are. In a world where increasingly people feel disconnected from their past, their neighbours and sometimes even their families, PSB can provide continuity and reassurance."
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