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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September, 2003, 18:01 GMT 19:01 UK
Jowell wants public BBC debate
Tessa Jowell
Tessa Jowell wants the public involved in the charter debate
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has said she is determined the public will be involved in the debate over the renewal of the BBC's charter.

The corporation's current charter expires in 2006, and Ms Jowell is in charge of deciding its future.

She has appointed Abbey National bank chairman Lord Burns to be an independent adviser on the process.

"I want this charter review to be characterised by vigorous and open debate," Ms Jowell said.

"The BBC is paid for by the British people and it belongs to them.

"That is why I am determined that in the long process of review leading to a new charter, the public should be fully involved."

She added: "We need to ask ourselves what we want and expect the BBC to deliver; what range and scale of services it should provide; how it should be positioned in relation to the market; how it should be funded and regulated; and whether it delivers good value for money."

TV conference

Ms Jowell was speaking at the Royal Television Society's conference in Cambridge, which opened on Thursday.

Executives attending the three-day event include BBC director-general Greg Dyke, who is also the conference's chairman, and BSkyB boss Tony Ball.

Greg Dyke
Greg Dyke is the convention's chairman
The BBC's charter renewal, which will also decide whether the licence fee will continue to fund the corporation, is one of many topics up for discussion.

The still undecided merger between ITV companies Carlton and Granada is also of great interest to many TV executives.

If it finally goes ahead, it would create an ITV superpower and potentially have huge effect on UK broadcasting.

Mr Dyke could also chose to dwell on this issue when he chairs a debate on Friday.

The theme the panel will dissect is the shape of the global TV industry.

Mr Dyke is also the chairman of the planning committee for this year's event.

As a result, he has had much of the say as to the choice of this year's speakers.

Others on the session programme include Stephen Carter, chief executive of new media watchdog Ofcom, and Tim Gardam, Channel 4's head of programmes.




SEE ALSO:
BBC under media moguls' scrutiny
18 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Cambridge date for TV moguls
16 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Jowell dismisses threat to BBC
27 Jul 03  |  Politics
BBC to undergo government review
16 Jan 03  |  Entertainment
ITV merger verdict awaited
22 Aug 03  |  Business


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