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30/01/2002

ITC launch review of news and current affairs

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THE ITC have revealed that television news and current affairs are to be the subject of a major new initiative by the broadcasting regulators.
Speaking at the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Conference in London, Patricia Hodgson, chief executive of the ITC, (pictured) said that they would be working with the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC), on a special programme of research into news and current affairs, with a view to influencing the Communications Bill expected later in the year.
The programme will be informed by the work of a specially appointed Research Fellow to advise the ITC and BSC on news and related issues, whose recommendations will be announced in the autumn.
This role will be undertaken by Professor Ian Hargreaves, the Director of Journalism Studies at the University of Wales, Cardiff. Ian Hargreaves has a distinguished career as former Deputy Editor of the Financial Times and Director of BBC News and Current Affairs.
Citing annual ITC research, which has consistently revealed that consumers see television as their main source of news, Patricia Hodgson said: “This brings with it a heavy responsibility since accurate, impartial, accessible news is the lifeblood of true democracy – the pre-requisite of active citizenship. People can only make sensible decisions – whether personal or political – when they are fully informed.”
Patricia Hodgson revealed that more than 80 per cent of young people said television was their main source of news, yet they were the group most likely to turn off.
(GB)
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