Calls For TV To ‘Reinvent Itself’

TV needs to “reinvent itself” according to one high profile professional who works in the sector.

Speaking to The Drum, Dorothy Byrne, head of news and current affairs at Channel 4, said that TV in the UK is no longer representative of the country’s population and stressed that it’s no longer a medium that is at the centre of public debate.

She said that there needs to be “big new ideas to take us forward” regardless of the outcome of Brexit, but added that she can’t see these changes in the world of TV at the moment.

“If we are worried about becoming irrelevant, one of the best things we can do is to start making big controversial programmes about the UK which put us back at the heart of public debate as we used to be,” Ms Byrne asserted.

She also called on terrestrial broadcasters in the UK to stop looking over their shoulders at streaming services and instead focus on producing content that builds a high level of trust among audiences of all ages.

In particular, those in the millennial and younger generations are turning to other places, such as Ted talks and podcasts, to explore major issues in the world today and see things from a different perspective.

Ms Byrne also called for broadcasters to work on their diversity to ensure they are able to accurately represent the people of the UK.

The latest report from Ofcom on TV viewing habits revealed that people are watching more subscription and on-demand services than ever before. Although terrestrial TV still accounts for much of our viewing, the amount of time people spend tuned into these channels is falling.

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