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Labour faces industry call from RadioCentre to toughen up its policies toward the BBC

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By John Glenday, Reporter

September 22, 2014 | 2 min read

The Labour Party has come under pressure to toughen up its policies on BBC governance by the industry body for commercial radio, at a fringe meeting on the fringe of the party’s Manchester conference.

Whilst acknowledging that the public service broadcaster remained a force for good the body also urged a review of its regulation to prevent overlap with the services provided by commercial broadcasters.

Speaking at the meeting Siobhan Kenny, chief executive of RadioCentre, said: “A strong BBC, funded by the licence fee and producing high quality content, is in everybody’s interests and is a source of national pride. In a rapidly changing media landscape, the BBC has a special responsibility to offer compelling and exciting programming to the broadest possible audiences. It has to be distinctive.

“Emerging findings from independent research commissioned by RadioCentre shows that over three quarters of Radio 1 and Radio 2 listeners believe that the BBC should produce content that is distinctive from commercial radio. Yet according to CompareMyRadio, a service which tracks the music broadcast on UK radio stations, 6 out of 10 tracks played on Radio 1 and Radio 2 during weekday daytime are also being played on commercial radio. The BBC Trust should have greater powers to tackle these shortfalls.”

RadioCentre is seeking to ensure its arguments are heard ahead of next year’s general election in which the future of the BBC is expected to become an election issue.

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