Dear Six Regulars:
I know how you LOVE it when I get all angry pants about regulatory issues. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. No LOL for me, lads, ever.
Anyway, the Conservatives who control the UK despite the pretend alliance with the LibDems have set aside £40 million for a local business stimulus in the form of local tv stations. This idea is intriguing and has a lot to offer. It is really a step in the right direction for Conservatives. It's an olive branch. But politics is so stupidly partisan here that everyone who is not a conservative is condemning it, killing it before it even comes alive. The shit I am reading in the Guardian makes me want to puke. They have gotten old and lazy and the quality of analysis is so poor. Therefore, I present for the pleasure of anyone who delights in scorchingly accurate analysis and bettering the plight of the planet:
AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL JOURNALISTS AND CONSERVATIVES
First, take note, the standard of excellence in reporting and analyzing the news in the UK is no longer "at least we are not News of the World". Left wing press are printing editorial after editorial to sink government initiatives that could turn out to benefit everyone in the UK just because those initiatives orginated with the Conservatives: that is bad form and bad for your country and the lives of your children and for that, you suck. In case you haven't, noticed, things are not so great here, and everyone needs to pitch in and support the intelligent actions of this government. I read the Tory culture website about local television and it is a cogent, intelligent plan. That has been utterly ignored in the press. Despite the fact that if the plan succeeded, it could really help the United Kingdom. Not only help the United Kingdom economically and socially, but help its soul, help its spirit. You know, I think it's just fabulous that it was Blair who promised to consider our souls, but it is the Conservatives who are really thinking about it. You journalists stink of Blair in all his vague evil with your partisan coverage. Set it aside and help Britain. And also, Private Eye and Economist: GO SIT ON THE NAUGHTY STEP WITH THE GUARDIAN. Seriously. You have to be more broad-minded than you are. Because I am sitting here feeling sorry for David Cameron. THAT IS NOT RIGHT. Grow up and do the right thing and don't make me tell you again, or it will be ALLCAPS.
The Conservatives have put forth an embryonic plan to create and sustain local content, through some kind of assistance in broadcast and otherwise of local tv stations. The regulatory contours of this one are, as far as I can see, pretty open-ended. I don't think anyone has that much of an idea of how good this idea is. Here is why I think it is a phenomenally good idea that should be supported. The government is creating a market for locally-created content. It could be a competitive market.
This feeds the very soul of this nation powefully: its Eisteddfod, its X Factor its So You Think You Can Ice Skate, its sports day, its talent shows. This island is artists and story-tellers, sharing the soul of Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Reepicheep in Narnia, in Middle Earth, in the Gruffalo's cave. The inhabitants of this island have an almost creepy childhood fetish that produces such marvelous childhoods and such good art. This is Shakespeare's country. This is the country of stories. A cut above New York and Sydney (though it pains me to say). It is in the soil and blood here.
So anyway, this government project would give local content producers the opportunity to create content, content that could then be broadcast locally or licensed on. Fantastic. You have the will to produce art and you have a potential economic upside for all parties.
So assuming the Conservatives are fairly intolerant of risk, this is a great first model: create a separate non-profit production company with the seed money, quasi-independent but not like the completely unworkable crappy Network Rail situation (Or YOU'LL be on the naughty step), and have this company solicit content. Don't worry about creating distribution networks, just use local ITV stations.
,- This requires you to understand how the model would shift from the somewhat primitive proposal you have now. I propose it be more about creating quality content rather than filling local airspace, and that NewCorp simply contract and support specific programmes. I think this actually strengthens the case for local advertising investment over the current model. I think you create a huge incentive for local tourism industry to invest heavily in advertising knowing that should the programme go to national or even international distribution, the original advertisements would remain. It's like buying a lottery ticket of fame. This would create added value for the hospitality industry through intelligent regulation.
- I propose that the government endow this corporation with immunity from prosecution for breach of copyright claims. That is right. All these people creating local content: they must be able to use any song they want, any film clip, to be free to sing the songs they love and create the content they want heavy though it is on pastiche and references. We live in a post-modern world, and our art should reflect that without the disproportionately inflated opportunity costs thrust upon us by bossypants record companies. This would be an awesome opportunity for the Conservatives to CLEAN HOUSE AT OFCOM - give Ofcom the job of securing all rights for NewCorp.
Then sit back and let the proposals come in, and allocate resources accordingly.