Scottish Digital Network would be a ‘game changer’, says report of Jenkins’ presentation

WERE it to be established, a digital TV channel dedicated to Scottish content would be revolutionise the Scottish creative economy, according to a report of a presentation to MSPs today.

Says the Press Association, the Scottish Parliament’s education, lifelong learning and culture committee heard this morning how a proposed Scottish Digital Network would be a “game changer… an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to make an impact on Scotland’s media landscape.

The committee heard a presentation by Blair Jenkins, who chaired a Scottish Broadcasting Commission which two-and-a-half-years ago came up with the idea of the Scottish Digital Network. Much more recently, a panel of experts, including Jenkins, convened to explore how the estimated £75 million-a-year budget for the SDN might be funded concluded it should be from the TV licence fee.

Jenkins is a former head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland.

When the SDN recommendation was first put to MSPs, they voted unanimously in favour of it. To secure funding from the TV licence would be a political decision, albeit reserved to Westminster.

Jenkins is quoted, saying: “I would very much see the digital network as working in partnership with the likes of Channel 4, with BBC ALBA as well, with broadcasters such as RTE, and other European broadcasters.”

He is further quoted, saying: “A lot of people in broadcasting and around are really disappointed with how broadcasting has responded to devolution. Any changes made in the last ten years have been really pretty marginal. There are some very good programmes made but, there’s no denying it, there isn’t enough.”