BBC Trust firms corporation's current affairs commitments
| 23 September 2014
The BBC Trust, the body that exists to make sure that Licence Fee payers get best value for money, has introduced new protections for the amount of current affairs programming on BBC One.
BBC NewsThe move, which now requires the BBC's flagship TV service to broadcast at least 40 hours of current affairs programming in peak time, marks the first time the Trust has introduced a condition to safeguard the volume of current affairs on the BBC's main channel. The Trust also reaffirmed BBC One's remit, namely it will officially be "the BBC's most popular mixed-genre television service across the UK, offering a wide range of high quality programmes. It should be the BBC's primary outlet for major UK and international events and it should reflect the whole of the UK in its output. A very high proportion of its programmes should be original productions.
Explaining its requirement, the Trust said it was following a commitment made by the Trust in its service review of BBC News and Current Affairs published earlier in 2014 that said that the service review found that audiences rate BBC current affairs highly for quality and for keeping them informed, but the evidence also showed that audiences expect more and BBC current affairs should be securing wider recognition and impact, particularly given that the BBC makes the most significant investment in current affairs programming in the UK.
The Trust has also strengthened the expectations set out in the service licence for the BBC's overall approach to current affairs, with an improved emphasis on current affairs output that goes "beyond observation and illustration to offer a broad audience insight into, and revelation or analysis of, issues of national and international concern."