Vicky Browning: Our sector has a role to play in the future of the BBC

Charities need to ensure the BBC continues to provide a space for issues important to us all, writes the director of CharityComms

What happens to the BBC is a vital issue for all organisations seeking to make themselves heard, so charities need to pay attention to the government's white paper on the BBC charter renewal.

The BBC is the cornerstone of our public service broadcasting system, considered by many to be the best in the world. It has a remit to broadcast content that is relevant to our lives, tell us about the wider world, provide accurate and impartial news, engage us with the democratic process and reflect the nations and regions of the UK.

It provides a valuable source of reliable information for mass audiences and is crucial to stimulating the interest, engagement and participation of citizens. Seasons that influence public opinion, such as its recent mental health season, would not be broadcast by any other media organisation in the UK.

The white paper unveils proposals for a major overhaul of how the BBC is run, some of which raise concern that the independence of the broadcaster will be compromised. If the government undermines the BBC's independence, its democratic and social value will be reduced.

A new emphasis on representing diversity is welcome - this includes more content for those from ethnic minority backgrounds, as well as underserved regional communities. However, a commitment in the current charter to provide content that engages us with the wider world has been downgraded from applying across all genres to only news and current affairs.

Charities need to ensure the BBC continues to provide a space for issues important to us all. Find out how at

Vicky Browning is director of CharityComms

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