Posts Tagged ‘Ofcom’

It’s good to talk

Thursday, July 19th, 2012 by Gemma Ellis

HELLO?! The days of inadvertently overhearing your neighbours’ shouty mobile chatter – famously epitomised by Trigger Happy TV’s Dom Joly and his giant novelty telephone – may soon be over if new research from Ofcom is anything to go by.

Evaluating the habits of UK consumers over the past year, the report reveals that more and more people are now using text as their primary form of communication; in 2011, 58% communicated daily via text messages, compared with 47% who made calls.

The revolution is being led by the young, with 96% of 16 to 24-year-olds using some form of text-based application on a daily basis, be that texting or social networking sites.

The fact that communication is changing is hard to dispute. The wide availability and uptake of smart phones will have played a huge role in this. Consumers now have the world at their fingertips and messaging is quick, easy and convenient.

Text can cross continents and time zones without difficulty and even language barriers to a certain extent, with a quick click on Google Translate and similar service providers telling you almost all you need to know.

But I do hope that as we move away from verbal communication the art of conversation isn’t completely lost. Whether you’re thrashing things out or catching up on mindless gossip, sometimes there’s nothing better than the spoken word.


What future for ITV’s skateboarding ducks?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 by Linda Isted


As Steve Hewlett so succinctly put it in Media Guardian, “A major British media company with no effective strategy, no chief executive, an underpowered board and restless shareholders prone to interfering, facing the worst advertising recession in living memory, a digital revolution and the likelihood of a change of government. Splendid.”

As ITV reels, Ofcom is putting the finishing touches to its latest recommendations on relaxing the rules on commercial broadcast news in the regions, just a few months after recommending that the walls between regional print and broadcast ownership be torn down. 

In what used to be fondly referred to as Granadaland, you could be forgiven for feeling vaguely sorry for would-be media barons, what with all these exciting new opportunities and barely a sniff of profit anywhere to be found.

 Representing the old guard media owner, Trinity Mirror has pulled production of weeklies back to its Liverpool HQ, closed titles, moved printing to Oldham and laid off journalists and production staff.  It has set up its own TV studio, sees the logic of a shared newsroom with a radio station and says it would consider making a bid if Ofcom chooses the North West for its pilot plans for a de-regulated regional news service.

In the corner of the bright new owners, Ten Alps has been described as “one of the UK’s most exciting media companies” by Wayne Garvie, director of content & production at BBC Worldwide.  Based in Macclesfield, it has already said that it will bid for a Granadaland licence.

But where will the content come from?  Who has enough journalists left to provide a regional news service worthy of the name? 

Perhaps, whisper it soft, the time has finally come to stop treating PR professionals, and particularly those working in the public sector, as the enemy. 

There are enough of us ex-print and broadcast journos working on this side of the fence, hopefully with some news integrity still intact, for there to be a serious reappraisal of what regional broadcast journalism could do. 

Why shouldn’t people rely on independent local broadcast news, backed up by websites and a print title, for all that useful information that used to come in their local paper?  Is it really impossible to devise a format that will allow some funding for local broadcasting to come from local authority budgets for communications and consultation?   

Much as all PRs love the buzz of getting their story onto the local TV news, can we still afford the whole seduction process for public sector content?  Why can’t community broadcasting raise its game and its standards?

Time for some people who love broadcasting to show the accountants what can be done…