The exciting process of submitting evidence for the renewal of the BBC charter
Last week, we took part in submitting evidence to the House of Lords Communication’s Select Committee. Here’s what happened on the day…
We started the day off with a tour around the Houses of Parliament, something that never fails to be an experience no matter how many times you’ve been before. We had the opportunity to enter the House of Commons whilst a debate around Northern Ireland was taking place. We later finished up the tour and made our way to Millbank House for our submitting of evidence on the renewal of the BBC charter.
Today the process of being involved in governmental procedures is missed by much of the youth. This has two sides; firstly that the government is not responsive to the youth and secondly that the youth has become largely apathetic with a lack of trust towards the government.However it was evident as we sat in first presentation explaining what select committees are , that many young people from the organisation ‘Up Rising’ (@UpRising_Uk) were enthusiastic about finding out more about how they could get involved in giving evidence in future select committees. One criticism that was brought up fairly quickly was around the government not financing these procedures and therefore eliminating a huge proportion of the public from giving evidence, for example those who cannot afford to take a whole day off work, unpaid.
Once the Lords and Baroness joined us, the discussion became quite lively. We worked our way through a series of questions around: how we accessed the BBC, how we viewed the BBC compared to other broadcasters, what we would like to change and how we would react if the BBC introduced advertising. One thing that stood out in the discussions and feedback from other tables was that many of us had grown up with the BBC, and that we all relied on it as a traditional foundation of British television. However it was clear that we all wanted young people to be better represented, especially in a more positive light.
We finished the day off with a talk from Baroness Benjamin (@FloellaBenjamin) whose aim was clearly to motivate young people into taking more action and become more responsible for the world in which they are in. Much of the room left on a high feeling motivated, especially after she insisted on hugging everyone before she left the room.
It is ultimately unclear how much our views will be taken into account, but it is clear that participation in these procedures is paramount in the relationship between the youth and the government. It is another illustration of how important having a voice is, as well as the importance on the inclusivity of young people in this country.
Leila, Young Trainee