Feeds

MPs reject Ofcom's Nathan Barley quango

The New Media Gravy Train stops here?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

In a victory for Reg readers, MPs have rejected Ofcom's proposal for a publicly-funded new media quango.

The Commons' select committee for Culture, Media and Sport rejects the idea that the creation of a "Public Service Publisher" gatekeeper would help the market.

The report is here, while Ofcomwatch blog broke the news here. The PSP would have cost taxpayers £300m a year, with the cash going to production houses to create interactive Web 2.0-style concepts.

Readers savaged the idea during Ofcom's consultation process.

"As a self-actualising media node, I welcome this redistribution of government funds from provincial luddites to new media 'creative' Sohoites," wrote one. "Ed Richards's initiative 'gets' new media on so many levels. Let's flashmob this bitch up to escape velocity."

(This, and other responses are on the Ofcom site.)

MPs go beyond saying that there's no sign of market failure, which is a precondition for the regulator to intervene. The committee concludes that the new quango would distort the market.

The committee writes: "Geoff Metzger, managing director of the History Channel, perhaps summed it up best when he said that the public service publisher was a 'cure with no known disease'."

You scratch my back - I'll give you a subsidy

The "Public Service Publisher" is a quintessentially New Labour backscratching exercise, backed by friends of Ofcom chief Ed Richards, who calls it his "personal crusade".

The quango would be "a new media answer to a new media question", an Ofcom spokesman told us back in March.

Unfortunately, the hastily-scribbled concepts looked less like the future of media, and more like Look Around You updated with Web 2.0 buzzwords:

PSP concept: Experts and Citizens united by technology

The regulator gave the job of studying the idea to executives at two media companies Andrew Chitty of Illumina Digital, and Anthony Lilley of Magic Lantern Productions, a tiny TV production house. The pair recommended it start life with a budget of £100m a year, although this may need to rise.

So Ofcom's quango looks dead - but new media luvvies are getting the taste for hand-outs. Lilley continues to campaign for new media subsidies (aka "give me the money") in his self-aggrandising Grauniad column, for example here. Only he calls them "investments".

Don't expect him to stop. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.