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BBC John Whittingdale Ofcom

Culture secretary John Whittingdale expected to take on ad blocking threat and back motion to pass BBC regulation to Ofcom


By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

March 2, 2016 | 3 min read

Culture secretary John Whittingdale is expected to warn of the dangers of adblocking for the newspaper industry at the Oxford Media Convention today (2 March), the Guardian reports.

Adblocking has taken a sharp rise in the UK with 22 per cent of Britons now utilising some form of the software, rising from 18 per cent in October, according to the most recent report from the IAB.

His speech will come a day after the publication of a government review on the BBC, which suggested that regulatory oversight of the BBC should be passed to media watchdog Ofcom, a motion which Whittingdale is expected to back today.

Ex-Bank of England deputy governor David Clementi’s independent report would end the broadcaster’s self-regulation with the closure of the BBC Trust, having been appointed by Whittingdale last September to measure up the broadcaster before the renewal of the BBC charter later this year.

As part of the review, Clementi, formerly chairman of Virgin Money and Prudential, called for the “fundamental reform of the system of governance and regulation” at the BBC.

The convention will also see him discuss recent reports on the regulation of the BBC and need for the media company to move away from “softer” news “of purely entertainment value” following a review of the broadcaster’s services, published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, that reported the BBC One had become “less innovative and less risk-taking”.

Whittingdale’s discussion of the health of the UK media will come soon after the announcement that the Independent has dropped its print edition as a move to digital news is cannibalising print revenues.

BBC John Whittingdale Ofcom

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