A panel on public service broadcasting is looking at how TV shows will continue to reflect Britain amid the rise of US streaming giants, the culture minister has said.
The Government has previously announced a panel to “help shape the future of the public broadcasting system”.
It will “explore” the role of broadcasters like the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 “in this new world” of competition.
John Whittingdale told a conference that he had talked to TV writers including Line Of Duty’s Jed Mercurio, Spitting Image’s John Lloyd, It’s A Sin’s Russell T Davies, and The Thick Of It’s Armando Iannucci about the issue.
“One of the issues, which has begun to come up and which we discussed” is “the Britishness of the content made for PSB channels against the Britishness of shows made for streamers”, he said.
Streamers such as Netflix and Amazon seek to market to a global rather than a UK audience and “the fact that Sex Education… is set in Wales and made in Wales, but does not obviously appear to be a school in Wales, is just a function of that”, Mr Whittingdale said of the Netflix show.
“And so that’s just one aspect which we’re looking at – how PSB should evolve and continue to support, not just the creative industries, the talent in this country, but also, if you like, Britishness.”
The panel had “reached no conclusions but I would expect that we’ll probably have a statement… towards the end of this year”, followed by legislation, he said.
The minister also praised the role of public service broadcasters in the pandemic, with “educational content… entertainment, but also as a trusted reliable source of news”.
He told the Deloitte and Enders Media and Telecoms conference that the pandemic “has emphasised how incredibly important trust in journalism is in a world where there is so much disinformation and fake news around”.
He said of the impact tech giants have had on journalism: “Every country is confronting similar problems.
“We are reaching towards similar solutions to try and restore the balance in competition between the big digital platforms and having an intervention through the competition and markets authority.”
Mr Whittingdale’s comments came after Facebook temporarily pulled the plug on news in Australia over a proposed law that would force tech giants to pay for journalism.