Vaizey: Broadcasting rules are outdated
Ed Vaizey MP has revealed how he feels some of the existing broadcasting rules are overly restrictive and out dated.
The Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy was speaking on Panjab Radio, and said: “You know your audience, you should have more flexibility to shape your station the way listeners want it to be… more freedom to do what you want.”
Vaizey also said Panjab Radio, which has just taken over an analogue frequency in North London, was a ‘fine advert for Digital Radio’.
During a visit to the station, he commented on-air about the enthusiasm and passion of the team, and described the station as ‘a lovely vibrant place’. During a brief interview he applauded Panjab Radio’s Founder and Managing Director, Surjit Singh Ghuman MBE.
Speaking about the control that regulation puts on stations, Mr Vaizey revealed how he felt that some of the existing broadcasting rules are overly restrictive and outdated. ‘You know your audience, you should have more flexibility to shape your station the way listeners want it to be… more freedom to do what you want’.
Mr Vaizey was also asked why it has taken so long to grow digital radio listening in the UK. He reminded listeners that London has more digital radio stations than any other city in the world, going on to explain how the BBC ‘really dominates radio much more than Television because there aren’t many national FM frequencies’.
Mr Vaizey explained how he hoped the planned rollout of the second national digital multiplex early in 2016 ‘will bring greater choice to across the country’.
Returning to the question of why it has taken so long, Mr Vaizey acknowledged that there had been a lack of investment in DAB and contrasted it with the switch over from analogue to digital TV that had been funded by selling off spectrum for 4G mobile communications.
Surjit then pressed the Minister on when the Government would make a final decision on switching over from FM to digital radio. Ed replied, ‘It’s an emotive subject. People are quite understandably wedded to their FM radio. People really love radio in this country’.