Matt Wells writes up last week’s Oxford Media Convention in The Guardian. He focuses on Tessa Jowell’s broad hint that Greg Dyke “can’t take the licence fee for granted” at charter renewal in 2006.
For me, this is a fascinating insight into the political management of news. If you’d attended the conference (as I did) you might easily have missed Jowell’s hint, made without fuss in the middle of a long speech, right at the end of a long day of debate containing at least half a dozen other interesting stories.
For the reporters present, though, this nugget quickly became the whole story. Presumably Jowell’s team – led by her top adviser Bill Bush who was at the conference too – briefed furiously to drive home the point that tough is the new cosy and the renewal of the Royal Charter is not a done deal. And so, almost casually, policy is made and communicated. Amazing.