Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Digital revolution leaving Scotland behind

11 December 2005
By Senay Boztas

THE director of Ofcom Scotland will issue a call for the Scottish Executive to improve the country’s media literacy, digital television and broadband access .

At a debate tomorrow in the Centre for Cultural Policy Research at Glasgow University, Vicki Nash will point out that Scotland is behind in the broadcasting revolution – and it is down to the Executive to ensure it catches up.

She told the Sunday Herald: “It is self-evident that Scotland has less access than England, and access to digital radio is not as good as the rest of the UK.

“In dense urban areas such as London there will be a choice of two or three broadband providers, but Scotland is not so well placed.

“The Executive has always said that broadcasting services are a reserved matter , but they have so many points of influence that impact on broadcasting: media literacy, economic development, how Scotland is placed in the digital revolution. It is related.”

She said Ofcom had established a relationship with the Executive to discuss matters such as media literacy and the telecoms industry, and urged ministers to keep these high on the agenda.

The seminar on public service broadcasting and culture in Scotland will be led by Professor Philip Schlesinger, director of the Stirling Media Research Institute at the University of Stirling, with contributions from senior executives at the BBC and Scottish TV.

According to Nash, future opportunities will be linked to the development of the internet, including increased local broadcasting, and more channel space with the switch to digital television.

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