DCMS blog

July Communications Review Seminars completed

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Henry Anderton

Member of The Department Comms Review Team

A huge thank you to all who attended the Communications Review seminars that have taken place over the last couple of weeks – we’re grateful for your time and contributions and for the constructive comments and feedback you’ve given us since the events began.

As well as being pleased to hear about the areas where you thought these sessions went well, we’ve also listened to how you think they could be improved, and we will definitely take these comments and suggestions on board when planning subsequent seminars in the series. The next of these will focus on radio, and is to take place in September. Further information, and the paper and agenda for this seminar, will be published on the Comms Review website in due course, along with information on any further seminars.
The round-table format of the Spectrum session on 12 July proved popular with attendees, as did having the Minister chair the discussion.

Monday’s session on TV Content differed slightly in format, with three separate panels of invited experts, discussing:
1) The recently announced tax incentives for high-end TV content – chaired by the independent producer Stephen Garrett (Kudos). The panel gave some interesting insights into the sharp-end of creating internationally successful TV, from the producers of international hit shows such as ‘Spooks’, ‘Rev’, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ and ‘Jamie’s School Dinners’
2) Potential policy levers for Government to consider, in the form of EPG allocation and ‘carriage consent’ (or retransmission fees) – chaired by Tim Gardam of Ofcom. This discussion looked at the findings of two discrete pieces of independent research into these areas commissioned by DCMS, which have been published on the Comms Review website, alongside the slides used by Mediatique and Technologia, who carried out the research
3) A more future-focused set of issues on whether content, platforms or technology will be the key driver to growth- chaired by Janice Hughes of Redshift. Again, the slides used by the chair and by Chris Woolard from Ofcom to inform the discussion are on the website.

As the Olympics countdown clock in Trafalgar Square (right next to our office) has just ticked down into single figures, many colleagues here at DCMS will now be shifting their attention to their games-time roles; however, we on the Comms Review team will be here through the summer, looking to build on the outcomes from the seminars so far – as well as getting plans in place for the autumn.
As Ed Vaizey has set out in all of the seminars, a key part of this will be to keep the conversations going with all of those who have an interest – so please continue to let us know your views, your answers to the questions set in the seminar papers, and further evidence and analysis that will inform the drafting of the White Paper.
Views and responses can be submitted to the Comms Review inbox, or via leaving a public comment on the website – or indeed, by joining the twitter conversation (#commsreview), if you’re that way inclined.
Read my blog about seminars one and two
The Communications Review team

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