BBC Radio and public value: The governance of public service radio in the United Kingdom

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Abstract

Between 2007 and 2017 in the United Kingdom, BBC radio services were regulated by the BBC Trust, with the performance of BBC radio stations monitored against the so-called ‘drivers of public value’. Utilizing the Reach, Quality, Impact and Value for Money performance framework (RQIV), periodical reviews of BBC Radio Service Licences were carried out. This article considers two such reviews, of BBC radio stations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and BBC Local Radio services in England. The use of the public value approach in the governance of public service radio in the United Kingdom is assessed. It is argued that the public value approach places a serious focus on audience responses, but that the use of the RQIV framework is problematic when considering the cultural nature of broadcasting. It is suggested that the BBC is increasingly being forced to make decisions for political-economic reasons, rather than for reasons of public value.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-106
JournalThe Radio Journal
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • public service radio
  • public value
  • BBC Radio
  • radio regulation
  • media governance
  • audience research

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