BBC Trust to Review Services for Younger Audiences

The BBC Trust has launched its review of BBC services for younger audiences. The Royal Charter requires the Trust to undertake a comprehensive review of every BBC service at least once during a five-year cycle.

This piece of work will include full reviews of the three BBC services aimed at young people – BBC Three, Radio 1 and 1Xtra, together with other BBC output aimed at the young, such as formal learning websites and BBC Switch.

Alison Hastings, BBC Trustee, who is leading the review for the Trust, said: “The BBC must offer something of value to people of all ages in order to deliver its public purposes, and young people are no exception. We will consider how young people are watching and using BBC programmes and services on television, radio and online, and the value they derive from them. Changes in technology are having a particular impact on young people’s media behaviour so it is important that we examine both what the BBC is currently doing and consider what it might need to do in the future.We will be looking at everything the BBC offers young people, and as part of this we want to hear from all young people, whether or not they use these services.”

Areas the review will be looking at include:How effectively is the BBC delivering the six public purposes to young people? Is the BBC reaching young people through the various media outlets, at the times and in places that best suit them? Do younger audiences value what the BBC offers them as distinct from what is available from other providers?
Are there particular groups within the identified age range that the BBC needs to work harder at serving? How well are the three services – BBC Three, Radio 1 and 1Xtra – performing against the terms and conditions of their service licences? As part of the review the Trust will open an online public consultation today. The consultation will run until 16 December 2008 and be promoted on the BBC’s services and elsewhere.

The Trust will commission audience research, speak directly to young people at outreach events organised by the Audience Councils and others, and consult with representative bodies and other interested parties who work closely with young people.

Within the broadcasting and media sector, broadcasters, producers and industry bodies will be invited to submit their views, along with BBC managers and staff. The Trust will analyse all the evidence it collects and expects to publish its review in spring 2009.

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