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PA Responds to BBC's Charter review

PA Responds to BBC's Charter review

12th October 2015

The Bookseller - Natasha Onwuemezi

The Publishers Association has released a formal response to the BBC’s Charter Review in which it highlights the “powerful” and “mutually beneficial” relationship between the BBC and publishers, and warns the broadcaster against venturing into commercial territory.

Following the government's launch of a consultation on the BBC's Royal Charter, which sets out the purpose of the BBC and how it will be governed, the PA has submitted a formal statement written by its chief executive, Richard Mollet.

In the submission, Mollet emphasises the “positive role the BBC plays in the UK’s cultural life, specifically with reference to its educational and entertainment missions.” He highlights the “synergies” between the role and activities performed by the BBC and the PA’s members, saying “like the BBC, publishers have an historic role in educating, informing and entertaining…. We believe that these tenets should remain the underlying mission of the BBC."

The submission emphasizes the “central” part the BBC plays in the UK’s cultural life, and argues that “publishers see a clear benefit from the BBC’s engagement with Britain’s literary output” as there is a “direct correlation between the success of a book adaptation and the sales of the corresponding title, for example.”

Mollet added: “Thus, the BBC is both the catalyst for and the beneficiary of publishing success.”

The submission argues that the BBC's radio coverage of books is "perhaps the most significant and distinctive aspect of the support the organisation provides for the writers here in the UK and throughout the world.” He cited the embedding of books into the news agenda on Radio 4's Today programme, in-depth author interviews on Front Row and Woman's Hour's support of the Bailey Women's Prize for fiction as some of the ways the BBC's airwaves have provided an "important route to discovery for the nation’s book buyers.”

Mollet said: "The BBC is a vital partner for publishing in shaping the nation’s relationship with books and reading and setting them at the heart of our cultural life. We value this partnership and share the mission with the BBC to support books, writers and the power of reading to sustain citizenship and stimulate creativity.”

Read the full article here. 


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