The BBC and Beyond is a Media Reform Coalition campaign, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. It launched in 2021, with a series of online public events around the UK focusing on a wide range of topics including international coverage of Covid, lessons from community media, and public media and antiracism. These events gained around 30,000 views, and are all available to watch on our YouTube channel.
We also conducted interviews with people working at the BBC and Channel 4, and spoke to dozens of organisations and individuals about their visions of a media system fit for the future. Based on these conversations, we wrote a Manifesto for a People’s Media which was published in November 2021.
When we began the campaign, we talked about the need to reimagine ‘public media’. As we were writing the Manifesto, we changed our language and began talking about building a media commons. Commons are a collective resource, which are governed jointly by a community. The media commons we envision in the Manifesto is made up of not-for-profit media initiatives that act in the public interest and have community empowerment at their heart.
After launching the Manifesto, we have been advocating for our proposals with political parties, media institutions and civil society organisations. In 2022, we received repeat funding from JRCT to continue the campaign until August 2024. In this next phase, the campaign is focusing on three areas:
We are very grateful to the Advisory Board who oversaw the first phase of the campaign. These were: Sophie Chalk (policy advisor, Voice of the Listener & Viewer); Debs Durojaiye (Afrotech Fest); Rizwana Hamid (Centre for Media Monitoring, Muslim Council of Britain); Mathew Lawrence (Common Wealth); Lindsay Mackie (New Weather Institute); Riaz Meer (BECTU and Media Reform Coalition Vice Chair); Pascale Robinson (We Own It); Marcus Ryder (Executive, Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity); Dr Marcela Pizarro (former Al Jazeera English).