Critics are calling for an investigation into a television station funded by public money in Oxfordshire, which reportedly attracts only 30 viewers daily. That’s Oxford (later That’s Oxfordshire) was established in 2015 as part of the local TV revolution initiated by then-Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Since its launch, the station has faced criticism regarding its low viewing figures, quality issues, and overall viability.
A Government initiative, launched in 2011, requires the BBC to fund 30 new local stations which each need to fill a quota of 85 stories per month for which the BBC pays £147.50 for every story it produces, whether they are used or not. If the quota of 85 was used each month, it would equate to £150,000 per year.
That’s Oxfordshire is amongst the worst performing local channels in the country and said to get only 30 viewers a day on average.
The BBC has been harshly criticized for this initiative as many believe that the public broadcaster should not be spending so much money on a project that appears to have limited success. People have also suggested that the money could have been better used for other media projects that could reach more people, such as radio or television programs.
The BBC has defended its decision to introduce a new initiative, which is focused on local journalism and providing people with access to news and stories from their own area. Despite criticism, the BBC stands firm in its commitment to the project, and will continue to invest in local journalism.