This discussion is closed.
Saracen's Fez
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 6 months ago
#1

What is this thread about?
This is a bill from the Model House of Commons (MHoC). It's a piece of proposed legislation that is currently being debated, and there's a good chance that the House will later vote on whether to pass it into TSR law.

All are welcome and encouraged to ask questions about the bill content and join in the debate – you don't have to be in a party or be an MP to do so.

What is the MHoC?
It's a political role-playing game where we pretend to be the House of Commons, and it's been going since 2005. We have formed parties, we have elections twice a year, and we debate bills and motions just like the real-life parliament. If you want to know more about how the MHoC works, your first port of call is the user manual. If you'd like to get involved and possibly join a party, you want the welcome thread.


B1485 – Broadcasting Bill 2019, TSR Liberal Democrats

Broadcasting Bill 2019

A bill to reform current broadcasting guidelines regarding watershed viewing, abolish the television license fee, relax television and radio rules on political advertising, and reopen bidding for ITV franchises.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1. Definitions
(1) Ofcom (short for the Office of Communications) is the government-approved regulatory authority for the broadcasting, postal and telecommunications industries of the United Kingdom.
(2) “The watershed” refers to the broadcasting period in which broadcasters can tailor their schedule to adult or mature audiences, classified by Ofcom as being between the hours of 9pm (21:00) and 5:30am (05:30).
(3) The “television license fee” refers to a payment that UK households are required to make in order to receive television broadcasts, live or recorded, made payable to the British Broadcasting Corporation.
(4) “Political advertising” refers to the use of broadcast advertising to influence a political debate or a proportion of the electorate.
(5) “ITV franchising” refers to the pre-2005 process by which independent television companies ran regional television stations, all operating under the framework of the central ITV network.

2. Reform of watershed restrictions
(1) Section 319(2)(a) of the Communications Act 2003 shall be amended from:

2. The standards objectives are—
(a) that persons under the age of eighteen are protected;

To:

2. The standards objectives are—
(a) that persons under the age of eighteen are protected;
(i) that this protection incorporates the presentation of sexually explicit, pornographic or violent graphic material within watershed regulations.
(ii) that care is taken to ensure younger children (those aged between 0 and 7 years old) are protected from the use of expletives in programming.
(iii) that in order to allow this, a preparatory watershed will be enforced between the hours of 7pm and 9pm, during which content containing the use of expletives can gradually be aired.
(iv) that more graphic material will remain under the constraints of the pre-existing watershed schedule.

(2) Section 319 (2)(f) of the Communications Act 2003 will be amended from:

(f) that generally accepted standards are applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of offensive and harmful material;

To:
(f) that generally accepted standards are applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of offensive and harmful material;
(i) these standards shall be reviewed by Ofcom on a yearly basis, to ensure that convention is not solely restricted by tradition.

3. Abolition of the Television License Fee
(1)Part 4 of the Communications Act 2003 is hereby repealed.
(2)The Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004 is repealed.

4. Replacement of BBC Funding
(1)In the next budget, the government will make funds available to replace the income of the BBC through the license fee.
(2)These funds should not exceed the BBC’s projected income minus its expenditure for the financial year.
(3) These funds shall rise alongside the rate of inflation for the remainder of the BBC’s Royal Charter.

5. Relaxation of Rules on Political Advertising
(1) Section 321 (2), Section 321 (3) and Section 321 (7) of the Communications Act 2003 is hereby repealed.

6. ITV Franchise Bidding
(1) Section 216 of the Communications Act 2003 will be amended from:

4. Where OFCOM receive an application under this section for the renewal of a licence, they must—
(a) decide whether they will be renewing the licence;
(b) if they decide that they will be, determine in accordance with section 217 the financial terms on which the licence will be renewed; and
(c) notify the applicant of their decision and determination.

To:

(4) Where OFCOM receive an application under this section for the renewal of a licence, they must—
(a) decide whether they will be renewing the licence based upon the following criteria;
(i) the license holder does not own more than one other license for a Channel 3 franchise at the time of application;
(ii) the license holder has maintained consistent viewing figures in the five years before renewal; and
(iii) the license holder has provided a suitable level of local engagement.
(b) if they decide that they will be, determine in accordance with section 217 the financial terms on which the licence will be renewed; and
(c) notify the applicant of their decision and determination.

7. Short title, commencement and extent
(1)This act may be cited as the Broadcasting Act 2019.
(2)This act comes into force on 1st January 2020.
(3)This act extends to the United Kingdom.

Notes
This bill refers to a number of historic pieces of legislation in its application. I will present these bills below and explain exactly what the amendments and repeals of these bills achieves.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga...0030021_en.pdf

The Communications Act 2003 is where the majority of changes come from. This Act initially established the Office of Communications and its subsequent remit, and it is that aspect of the Act that our first amendments come from.

I’m a firm believer in the principle of liberty, and freedom of speech comes within that. I of course understand wishing to shield children from pornography or violence on television, but the vast majority of older children will have come into contact with the use of expletives in daily life, and as such, trying to pretend “swearing” causes the vast majority of these children “harm” or “offence” is a frankly useless appeal to morality.

However, I also accept that younger children wouldn’t be used to swearing. Parents on the whole skate away from using expletives in the presence of those in infancy, and those children hearing “foul language” for the first time would see it as considerably more taboo. I therefore propose in this legislation to roll back the watershed by two hours, introducing a “preparatory” period from 7pm to 9pm where more mature language content can be blended into television content. This then allows television companies to have more freedom during scheduling.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...0040692_en.pdf

The second piece of legislation that is altered is the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004. These regulations prescribe fees payable for TV licensing, alongside Part 4 of the Communications Act 2003, which sets out TV licensing conditions.

This aspect of the bill concerns repeals, as the intent is to abolish the television license, which is a regressive tax and ultimately ends up being wasted on BBC vanity projects. The funding for television licensing in this country will instead come from general taxation, but will also be dependent on the BBC keeping to a tight budget - if it overspends, less money will come out of the taxpayer’s pocket as funding will be reduced.

This bill also repeals the political advertising ban on television and radio, as one thing the Communications Act did through this was “dumb down” political content. Having healthy political debate on British broadcasts should not be viewed as controversial, and political content which pushes the boat out should not be discouraged.

Lastly, this bill amends sections in the Communications Act 2003 which allowed for the merger of all ITV franchises into ITV plc. Free market competition far outweighs the need for monopolisation, which has led to ITV’s localist remit falling by the wayside. Bringing back the days of franchise renewal will keep the heat on ITV to produce top quality broadcast content, as the ITV plc merger has led the channel to stagnate.

To conclude, I feel this bill makes necessary alterations to give Britain a broadcasting framework to be truly proud of. I welcome all debate on this legislation.
Last edited by Saracen's Fez; 6 months ago
0
SoggyCabbages
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#2
Report 6 months ago
#2
Who wrote this bill? A few instances of first person in the notes.
0
SankaraInBloom
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#3
Report 6 months ago
#3
(Original post by SoggyCabbages)
Who wrote this bill? A few instances of first person in the notes.
It's my bill. Wrote it for the Lib Dems to read independently but thought it best to post the original iteration of the bill too.
0
ns_2
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#4
Report 6 months ago
#4
Given the passage of V1417, Ofcom is no longer responsible for broadcasting; the relevant authority is the Broadcasting and Advertising Conduct Authority.
0
username3973192
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report 6 months ago
#5
Seems like a good idea
0
SankaraInBloom
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#6
Report 6 months ago
#6
(Original post by ns_2)
Given the passage of V1417, Ofcom is no longer responsible for broadcasting; the relevant authority is the Broadcasting and Advertising Conduct Authority.
This will be rectified in the 2nd Reading.
0
CatusStarbright
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#7
Report 6 months ago
#7
The watershed is currently voluntary anyway is it not?

I don't mind having the BBC funded from general taxation, though this does of course restrict people from choosing not to pay the cost. I do however disagree with the bill in that I do not want to see blatantly political advertising, and I don't see why ITV needs to change.
0
SankaraInBloom
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#8
Report 6 months ago
#8
(Original post by CatusStarbright)
The watershed is currently voluntary anyway is it not?

I don't mind having the BBC funded from general taxation, though this does of course restrict people from choosing not to pay the cost. I do however disagree with the bill in that I do not want to see blatantly political advertising, and I don't see why ITV needs to change.
Watershed isn't voluntary on television.

ITV plc monopolised what was essentially a feeder network of regional competitors. It led to complacency from regional stations and it weakened ties to localism.

In terms of political advertising, I believe it is ultimately in line with liberty to have the freedom to share the views you have in any arena.
0
CatusStarbright
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#9
Report 6 months ago
#9
(Original post by SankaraInBloom)
Watershed isn't voluntary on television.

ITV plc monopolised what was essentially a feeder network of regional competitors. It led to complacency from regional stations and it weakened ties to localism.

In terms of political advertising, I believe it is ultimately in line with liberty to have the freedom to share the views you have in any arena.
That doesn't really make sense then since I see 12-rated programmes airing in the day, though admittedly not on the main channels (like BBC, ITV etc.).

Does anyone really use ITV for local programmes?

I think I could perhaps support it so long as there was the requirement to declare that it was a political advert, like when the BBC announces it is showing a party political broadcast.
0
SankaraInBloom
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#10
Report 6 months ago
#10
(Original post by CatusStarbright)
That doesn't really make sense then since I see 12-rated programmes airing in the day, though admittedly not on the main channels (like BBC, ITV etc.).

Does anyone really use ITV for local programmes?

I think I could perhaps support it so long as there was the requirement to declare that it was a political advert, like when the BBC announces it is showing a party political broadcast.
1. In terms of 12-rated programmes airing during the day, those that are aired tend to follow the BACA's harm and offence guidelines (no swearing, no violence, etc). I'm simply of the view that children's ears are not as tender to this sort of thing as one would have you believe, and as such, these guidelines ought to be relaxed significantly.

2. ITV was initially founded on the principle of providing public service content outside the BBC, with a more regionalist and localist remit. This manifested itself in programmes such as Tyne Tees' renowned local documentaries by Bill Grundy. Since the ITV plc merger, this remit has reduced significantly - the only local content you'll see is regional news programming on most ITV franchises. Reopening bidding gives a chance for local franchises to produce top quality content that can be consumed and enjoyed on a regionalist level.

3. I intend to clarify this clause prior to its second reading.
0
Andrew97
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#11
Report 6 months ago
#11
I’m not comfortable with a relaxation of political adversting on Tv, as Catus says a requirement to declare its a political advert would sway me, but I’m nonetheless still unsure.
0
ns_2
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#12
Report 6 months ago
#12
Indeed, political advertising must remain regulated to prevent undue swaying, especially at this politically sensitive time.
0
SoggyCabbages
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#13
Report 6 months ago
#13
Nay nay nay!!!!

Big nay on the Watershed, regardless of the points made in the notes, I feel we shouldn't be letting young children here such vulgarities.

Also nay regarding political advertising, I echo the Prime Minister's points on that.
0
Mr T 999
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#14
Report 6 months ago
#14
Nay! I'm against funding the BBC licence fee by general tax, I'm against relaxing political advertising, I do not want political propaganda being shoved in our face, I'm against relaxing watershed rules and I'm fine with ITV as they are. I basically support the status quo.
0
Saunders16
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#15
Report 6 months ago
#15
This might be an aye from me if the reference to political funding is removed.
0
CatusStarbright
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#16
Report 6 months ago
#16
(Original post by SankaraInBloom)
1. In terms of 12-rated programmes airing during the day, those that are aired tend to follow the BACA's harm and offence guidelines (no swearing, no violence, etc). I'm simply of the view that children's ears are not as tender to this sort of thing as one would have you believe, and as such, these guidelines ought to be relaxed significantly.

2. ITV was initially founded on the principle of providing public service content outside the BBC, with a more regionalist and localist remit. This manifested itself in programmes such as Tyne Tees' renowned local documentaries by Bill Grundy. Since the ITV plc merger, this remit has reduced significantly - the only local content you'll see is regional news programming on most ITV franchises. Reopening bidding gives a chance for local franchises to produce top quality content that can be consumed and enjoyed on a regionalist level.

3. I intend to clarify this clause prior to its second reading.
1. I disagree strongly with your point; I in fact believe you'd be surprised what is shown which is completely inappropriate for children. I was surprised myself - for context my brother is nine and though it's not so large a problem now it used to be interesting to see all the programmes being shown even during the day which would have been entirely inappropriate for him to have watched.

2. I'm not too fussed in all honesty and I'm not convinced other people are either which is probably why the regional content ended.

3. I look forward to seeing the amended version.
0
Samuel J. Booker
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#17
Report 6 months ago
#17
Aye from me provided reference to political funding is removed and political adverts are required to be declared.
0
Saracen's Fez
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#18
Report Thread starter 6 months ago
#18
This bill is in cessation.
0
Saracen's Fez
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#19
Report Thread starter 6 months ago
#19
This bill has gone to a second reading.
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How has the start of this academic year been for you?

Loving it - gonna be a great year (142)
17.95%
It's just nice to be back! (213)
26.93%
Not great so far... (283)
35.78%
I want to drop out! (153)
19.34%

Watched Threads

View All