Sky man must come down to earth to avoid failure
|Every time there has been a so-called major review of GBC, it has been presented with much trumpet-blowing. But each time the review has failed to deliver, and GBC today is possibly at its lowest ebb.
The only reason that keeps a major uproar away is that GBC has become a somewhat insignifant broadcaster in the midst of the public's ability to switch on to 60 other channels.
The mediocrity of some of the programmes are there for all not-to-see. How can you have a religious talk show at peak viewing time on the weekend?! There is nothing wrong with religion. There is nothing wrong with other minority programmes. But there is a proper place for everything. The whole thing is symptomatic of the poor programming. Why dwell on the rest when everyone is well aware of it.
Now, someone from Sky who goes by the name of Allan King has been selected to undertake a review. Unless he comes down to earth, it will be another flop review.
This idea of comparing GBC to a BBC provincial station is cockeyed. GBC is a local station and it must be organised in such a way that it fully serves this local community.
Those who have worked with them, volunteer the view that GBC has increasingly become like another Government department of sorts. It's like running Sky with a UK government attitude of mind!
But Sky, despite initial poking of fun by competitors, have found a worthy niche through hard work and perseverance. They ceased to be a laughing stock long ago.
But this government department mentality is so ingrained on GBC that people working there do not seem to notice it, say those who have been there and now take a view from the outside.
Another problem is that GBC does not have local competition. Hence, it is only human to let things drag in the knowledge that they will not be shown up by another broadcaster.
Hence, as PANORAMA has often said, what is required in broadcasting in Gibraltar is to create an element of competition.
This paper has in the past suggested that a model could be developed based on ITV in Britain. You have a central regulatory body that would allow independent broadcasters to play their part in the overall picture.
The GBC Board system ought to be got rid off the sooner the better. They fail as a watchdog, and all that happens is that they become an adjunct of GBC.
Gibraltar already has a regulatory body or you can establish a new one specifically for broadcasting.
That body would regulate broadcasting and ensure that the different players stick to the rules and regulations.
The independent producers would enjoy an equal playing field.
The element of competition that would ensue would be for the good of broadcasting and in the interest of the public.
Further, there is also a need to have a look at radio. Some people might think the radio monopoly is good, but that is because they are comparing it with nothing, as nothing else exists locally to allow for comparison.
Why should all the wavelengths available in Gibraltar not allow for more than one station, each catering for different concepts?
Why this notion that broadcasting as a whole must be a monopoly?
Tha sooner we start looking at alternatives the better for all...including the broadcasters.