Paddy Barwise at The Oxford Media Convention

Paddy Barwise heads the London Business School’s Future Media programme and is a perennial commentator on broadcast regulation issues – particularly ownership and quality. He’s usually defending quality thresholds or opposing foreign ownership. He wasn’t speaking at the event but he told me, intriguingly, that beyond the Communications Bill lurks greater peril for British public service media – in particular he?s worried about the next round of the GATT negotiations which will attack the UK Government’s right to ‘protect’ a state broadcaster and fund it via a compulsory licence fee. The worst case could result in the abolition of ownership rules, content quotas, the license fee and much that British people hold dear. I think that radical change is likely in all these areas but it’s obviously vital that we get a public debate going before it’s too late to influence the outcome.