Jocelyn Hay CBE 30 July 1927 - 21 January 2014
(c) Frank Barron/The Guardian
Jocelyn Hay CBE, the founder and President of the Voice of the Listener & Viewer, died on Tuesdy 21 January 2014, aged 86.
Jocelyn founded the VLV in 1983 and built it into the United Kingdom's main consumer voice on issues affecting public service broadcasting and quality and diversity in radio and television programming.
Colin Browne, Chairman of the VLV said: “Jocelyn was an inspiration to all of us who believe in quality and diversity in British broadcasting. Through her own strength of personality and strong convictions, and by gaining the respect of politicians and media executives, she helped to ensure that the views of listeners and viewers were listened to by decision makers across the industry.”
She had remained active and involved in the organisation until very recently. My colleagues and I will miss her hugely; but our thoughts at this time are primarily with her family, to whom we send our most sincere condolences.'
BBC Director-General, Tony Hall said: “Jocelyn Hay had a huge impact on broadcasting in this country. She never stopped campaigning for better quality programmes and for all broadcasters to put their audiences first. She always believed it was every broadcaster’s duty to make engaging programmes that captured the public’s imagination. She will be much missed.”
Jocelyn Hay was a freelance writer and broadcaster before she founded Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV) in 1983 in response to the first threat to turn BBC Radio 4 into an all news and current affairs network. Having launched and won that campaign, issues arose which required the attention of a consumer body which could speak on the full range of broadcasting issues. Along with other colleagues, Mrs Hay set up Voice of the Listener (as it then was) becoming Executive Chair.
She then ceased broadcasting in her own right but until 1994 continued to direct the training agency, London Media Workshops, which specialised in writing, directing and producing radio, television and video programmes. The Voice of the Listener became Voice of the Listener & Viewer in 1991.
Having been appointed an MBE in 1999, she was made a CBE in 2005 for her work with VLV. She was awarded the Elizabeth R Award for an Exceptional Contribution to Public Service Broadcasting by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association in 1999 and in 2007 was presented with the European Women of Achievement Award (Humanitarian category) by the European Union of Women, British section. She is a trustee of Mediawise (formerly Presswise) and of The Voice of the Listener Trust. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and member of the Society of Authors.
Mrs Hay was Head of Press and Public Relations at Girl Guide Commonwealth Headquarters from 1973-1978 while bringing up her family and a Fellow of the Institute of Public Relations. Her past experience also includes membership of OFTEL’s Consumer Advisory Panel, the Government Stakeholder Group on Digital Television, the Steering Group of the European Information Society Forum and the Council of the European Institute for the Media. She was Founder President of the European Alliance of Listeners’s & Viewers’ Associations (EURALVA) from 1995 to 2007.
She was a widely respected authority on broadcasting policy across all the issues and is regularly consulted by leading industry players, journalists, policy-makers and regulators. Mrs Hay was the widow of a former Arm y officer and mother of two daughters. She travelled widely, lived in seven overseas countries and three of the nations of the UK. She had a BA (Hons) and was a Fellow of the RSA.