The BBC’s director general, Tony Hall, will call this week for video streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon to be regulated to the same extent as the UK’s traditional broadcasters – or else risk killing off distinctive British content. He will also raise the prospect of moving more BBC staff out of London, while making a pitch for the BBC to find a way to “spend more on the highest-quality content” – a move which could require either more funding for the corporation or cuts elsewhere in its output. “It cannot be right that the UK’s media industry is competing against global giants with one hand tied behind its back,” Hall is expected to tell the Royal Television Society’s London conference on Tuesday. “In so many ways – prominence, competition rules, advertising, taxation, content regulation, terms of trade, production quotas – one set of rules applies to UK companies, and barely any apply to the new … [Read more...] about Tony Hall: regulate video streaming services or risk ‘killing off’ UK content
The BBC has agreed to pay the £600m-plus annual cost of providing free TV licences for people aged over 75 in return for being allowed to increase the fee in line with inflation. John Whittingdale, the culture secretary, told the Commons that the BBC had offered to start paying the cost of the free licences, but Labour critics described the deal as an “assault on BBC independence” and a “shabby backroom deal”. Whittingdale said: “The BBC is a world-class broadcaster and a cultural institution producing some of the best television and radio in the world. However, as a publicly funded institution, it also needs to make savings and contribute to what we need to do to get our country’s finances in order.” Describing the impact of the deal, he told MPs: “We are all content that it delivers our objective of helping to reduce the deficit whilst at the same time giving the BBC some of the guarantees they need about their future financing and … [Read more...] about BBC to take on £750m cost of subsidy for over-75s in licence fee deal
Australians working full-time are in the top half of income-earners if they earn more than $71,500. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has compiled a list of median salaries covering men and women, and those working more or less than 35 hours a week. Men continue to earn more, having a median, full-time salary of $76,700 compared with $65,000 for women - an 18 per cent difference. Australians working full-time are in the top half of income-earners if they earn more than $71,500. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has compiled a list of median salaries covering men and women, and those working more or less than 35 hours a week The gender pay gaps explained MALE full-time median weekly wage: $1,475FEMALE full-time median weekly wage: $1,250MALE part-time median weekly wage: $500FEMALE part-time median weekly wage: $570Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics data for August 2019 released on December 9 Females in full-time work wanting to earn more than the … [Read more...] about How much you have to earn to be in the top half of Australian income earners – and where women need to move to get paid more than men
Tech companies such as Facebook and Google could be regulated in the same way as the mobile phone and broadband industry, the head of media regulator Ofcom was expected to say on Tuesday. Sharon White was due to outline a potential system regulating social media companies’ in-house complaints processes. Targets would be set for how quickly they removed offensive content and substantial fines issued if they failed to meet these standards. Such a system could be modelled on the existing British method of regulating telecoms companies. “Trust in them is already weakening,” she was expected to say in comments first reported by the Telegraph. “Our research shows that people see social media platforms as the single biggest source of online harm – and most people want the rules to be tighter.” An Ofcom spokesperson made it clear that the ultimate format of any regulatory system would be a matter for the government. White was expected to describe the current … [Read more...] about Ofcom to push for regulation of social networks
I was in Venice when the acqua alta struck on 28 October 2018. I noted in my diary: “It happened today. The first big acqua alta of the year, with a siren at 09.17, followed by two steady tones. One tone is for 1.1 metres, two 1.2 metres, three 1.3 metres and four 1.4 metres or more. The tidal chart says the level should peak just after noon. At 12.30 I put on my green rubber boots. Stepping out along the canals, I found the water above my ankles and immediately had to re-learn how to walk. Walking at normal speed causes the water to splash over your boots and on to your legs. I slowed down, finding I also needed to watch out for little waves from the boats on the canal, which rode up right over the submerged pavement. “Tourists used bin bags or fluorescent pink plastic booties over their shoes, walked barefoot or just got their shoes wet. Judging by the laughs and picture taking, high water looked fun, but not for the tourists who held heavy suitcases to their chests to … [Read more...] about Deep trouble: can Venice hold back the tide?