Television

Arts, current affairs, docs dominate the beebs schedule in the UK

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MUMBAI: The BBC launched its statements of programme policy for 2004/2005 in the UK. It will devote more time to arts, current affairs and documentaries.

However BBC Acting DG Mark Byford has clarified that renewing the focus on arts and current affairs did not signal a lack of focus elsewhere at the broadcaster.

Most of the arts shows will be showcased on BBC One. The BBC issued a release stating that the decision was on account of the audiences desire to see more cultural and arts journalism added to its mix of arts programmes. Therefore it will launch The Culture Show later this year.

Meanwhile BBC Two will build a new documentary strand. The subjects cover diverse issues like terrorism, disability, parenting. The channel will also increase its commitment to current affairs by 10 hours. It had recently launched current affairs analysis strand If.

Online the BBC News website on bbc.co.uk will launch Quick Guides in a couple of months time. This will offer extra insight and context to daily news events. Arts programming across the BBC will include a new programme on BBC Four for analysis of the UK and world media.

The BBC added that it framed the statements this year in order to meet the BBC Governors Board's request that the programme plans be presented in a way that demonstrate how they contribute to delivering the BBC's public purpose.

Acting BBC Chairman Richard Ryder was quoted in the release saying, "The BBC's new approach to the statements of programme policy will enable the licence payers to judge the BBC's performance with greater clarity. On their behalf, the Board of Governors will monitor the BBC's performance against these committments throughout the year and report its assessment in the Annual Report and Accounts."

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