First Minister Alex Salmond announced the creation of the Scottish Broadcasting Commission early last month. The Commission has been tasked with defining a strategic way forward for television production and broadcasting in Scotland and will be chaired by Blair Jenkins, formerly head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland and director of broadcasting at Scottish Television.
In his speech, Mr Salmon also made the case for broadcasting policy to be devolved to Scotland, stating:
"Broadcasting has a crucial and central role in our democracy, but also in obtaining the full cultural and economic benefits of our creative industries. That's why my government supports the devolution of broadcasting powers to the Scottish Parliament. We see the policy as a means to an end, not just as an end in itself. We want to ensure the principle of editorial and creative control being exercised in Scotland on behalf of Scottish audiences."
Westminster reaction was critical, with David Cairns, Minister of State at the Scotland Office, stating that Mr Salmond was "clearly out of touch". He went on to state, "denying Scots access to the world's most respected broadcaster by creating a parochial and narrow Scottish Broadcasting Corporation is a backward-looking proposal which will command little public support".
The draft remit for the Commission has now been published on the Scottish Executive's website, along with the list of Commission members. The Commission is to conduct an "independent investigation into the current state of television production and broadcasting in Scotland and define a strategic way forward for the industry."
The Commission is charged with making recommendations for Scottish government action in those areas currently devolved to the Scottish Parliament, focusing attention on issues where other organisations have responsibility and encouraging action to address these issues, identifying matters for further consideration and encouraging debate in the Scottish Parliament.
The Commission is due to publish its report next year.