If you’re reading this, congratulations for surviving the twin perils of Friday 13th and Valentine’s Day (although there’s bad news for the susperstitious amongst you – this year the 13th of March will again fall on the dreaded day).
In the Delib office, the broaching of V-Day at our weekly catch-up meeting elicited a collective moan of despair – but hopefully there are some more committed romantics among our much-beloved users and partners.
Today, we thought we’d bring you some recent excitement from the online consultation world. The BBC Trust’s consultation on the future of BBC 3 closes today; and the IWA are crowdsourcing a new constitutional convention for Wales.
Last chance to have your say on the future of BBC3
In a consultation that closes today, the BBC trust are asking the public’s opinion on the future of many of the BBC’s TV services. Most notably, they are proposing to remove BBC Three from the television airwaves and make it a purely digital channel, available from the BBC iPlayer website. This goes together with a proposal, in line with current TV viewing trends, to create more ‘web-only’ content, that will be premiered online rather than on a broadcast schedule as it traditionally would have been. Fear not for your water-cooler conversation topics, though:
“Programmes that contain spoilers, or ones that have a sense of shared viewing experience such as The Apprentice or The Voice...are unlikely to or would never premiere online.”
The removal of BBC 3 from broadcast hasn’t been without controversy – there has been a prominent petition gathering campaign, savebbc3, arguing that the channel should be kept in its current form (there’s even a rally taking place today in London).
There are plenty of arguments for and against the closure. From the BBC’s perspective, it’s a way of making £50m of annual cost savings in a focused way, allowing it to invest more in or protect its other services, rather than having to keep cutting spending across the board. For opponents of the move, it will get rid of a channel that has helped a lot of innovative and diverse content, artists and actors get exposure to a big audience.
So, if you feel strongly about when or where the public will be able to tune in to Russell Howard’s Good News or Snog, Marry, Avoid?, get yourself over to the BBC Trust’s Citizen Space and let them know your views – the consultation closes at midnight today!
The public debate about the future of the UK’s constituent nations that was inspired by last year’s independence referendum in Scotland has been taken up in Wales by the Institute of Welsh Affairs. The prospect of further powers being devolved to the Scottish government from Westminster has raised the question of what a new arrangement with Wales might look like, but the IWA are trying to take that further for a discussion on Wales’ future.
The IWA’s idea is inspired by the movement in Iceland to crowdsource a new constitution in the wake of financial crisis and political upheavals. They are running the exercise in phases, with a new topic for discussion every one or two weeks. These range from the economy and Europe to the big question about Welsh nationhood – ‘What is Wales for?’ – and are generating all kinds of fascinating ideas and discussion.
We’re really excited by what the IWA are doing – channeling some of the excitement about democracy that the Scottish referendum injected back into some sectors of the UK’s public life. This week’s new topic is the welfare state in Wales, and you can get involved in the debate online here.
Both of these exercises are all great examples of public bodies trying to open up the debate about issues that previously might have been decided by a small group without members of the public ever having the chance to make their views heard – and digital tools are an important part of making this happen.
Here’s hoping this is a trend we’ll see more and more of 2015!