The BBC Audience Council for Northern Ireland is currently recruiting new members. If you have an informed interest in what the BBC broadcasts and publishes online and an understanding of the needs of local audiences, you may want to apply for this voluntary position. Looking at some of the posts and comments on Slugger, some people certainly fit the bill!
Audience Council meets most months and gives a voice to local audiences right at the heart of the BBC. Council advises the BBC Trust – and in particular the Trustee for Northern Ireland on behalf of licence fee payers and identifies local audience priorities which the BBC Trust consider when setting the overall priorities for BBC management.
Audience Council engages directly with the audience, listening to a diverse set of opinions from individuals and groups across Northern Ireland. And it responds on behalf of audiences to the reviews of BBC services (TV and radio channels, bbc.co.uk etc) as well as meeting the local BBC NI management on a regular basis.
My own term on Audience Council is drawing to a close – I’m one of the ones being replaced! – and in a lucid moment before a previous recruitment exercise, I went on the record to say:
The BBC spends a lot of public money each year, and it’s important that it is accountable to the people who pay the licence fee, watch tv, listen to the radio and browse its content online.
The BBC Trust can commission a lot of research, but through the Audience Councils, the Trustees get to hear first hand from a group of licence fee payers. And they listen. It’s been a great experience to engage with and speak up on behalf of smaller sections of the audience – whose voices are often drowned out – and fight to ensure that Northern Ireland is taken seriously and well represented on BBC output throughout the UK.
Application forms are available on the ACNI website and must be submitted by midnight on 27 March.
Here endeth the public service announcement.