BBC Sets Minimum Guarantee for Current Affairs Output

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The U.K. public broadcaster's governing body requires 40 hours of peak-time programming per year on flagship channel

U.K. public broadcaster BBC will now be required to air a minimum of 40 hours of current affairs programming in peak time each year on its flagship channel BBC One.

The decision was made by the BBC Trust, the broadcaster's independent governing body, the first time it has introduced a condition to safeguard the volume of current affairs on BBC One. It followed a review published earlier in the year that claimed audiences rated the BBC’s current affair output highly but expect more and that it should be securing wider recognition and impact.

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The Trust also made moves to raise the quality of current affairs, setting out expectations for content that goes “beyond observation and illustration to offer a broad audience insight into, and revelation or analysis, issues of national and international concern,” according to a statement.

Earlier this month, Rona Fairhead came a step closer to being named the BBC Trust’s new chair. The U.K. government’s preferred candidate for the role faced a grilling by members of parliament over her suitability and later emerged to have been given a unanimous approval. No announcement has yet been made on the matter.

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