BBC Regulation “Strangling Digital Innovation”, Some Say

The new regulatory regime ushered in at the BBC in January is hampering online innovation, according to a selection of anonymous “insiders” in today’s MediaGuardian. So far this year, the new BBC Trust, a 12-person independent panel sanctioned under the corporation’s renewed royal charter, has retroactively closed down education web service BBC Jam, said it needs to be consulted before the broadcaster embarks on further partnerships like that with YouTube and played ping-pong with the 2003 iPlayer VOD proposal before going back on many of its initial concerns in April.

Several notable internet developers, over the last couple of years, have left the BBC, yet the new-look Future Media & Technology division is also attracting senior technology staff from a number of rivals. Throwing stones at the division, today’s story says staff are coming to believe the BBC is “paralyzed by fear and innovation has been crippled by a power struggle between different factions”. Only the inimitable former BBC director general Greg Dyke, who presided over innovations like Creative Archive, goes on record, blaming the government’s culture minister, who oversaw the changes to the corporation’s regulatory regime: “It’s death by strangulation. The trouble is it won’t explode, it just doesn’t do the things it should. I fear it will be the long term death of the BBC.”