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NMA Responds To Tim Davie Speech

26 March 2024

Responding to Tim Davie’s Royal Television society address, News Media Association chief executive Owen Meredith said:

“Tim Davie has set out a vision for the BBC that overreaches its remit and its commitments under the Royal Charter and Agreement to not adversely impact competition. The public should be in no doubt that this appears to be an aggressive strategy, designed to strengthen the BBC’s hand at the expense of others.  

“The BBC has repeatedly sought to reassure commercial news publishers that their presence online does not seek to compete with them– despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Today, the director general has gone further, not content with directly competing with local titles through expansionist plans, the BBC now apparently plans to launch two online news brands providing the very content that is core to driving commercial subscription and advertising revenue for publishers, ensuring sustainable business models and investment in independent journalism.  

“We urgently need to see the detailed proposals behind Tim Davie’s announcements and expect Ofcom to thoroughly scrutinise them. The BBC must be pulled back from its assault on the commercial journalism sector, otherwise the consequences for news provision in this country and further afield will be devastating. ”