Michael Starks is the author of Switching to Digital Television, published in 2007 by Intellect Books and the University of Chicago Press. While the book is principally about the relationship between public policy and the market in the UK, it includes international comparative study, the research for which was funded by a grant from the British Academy. Michael Starks is now also the editor of a new International Journal of Digital Television due to be launched towards the end of 2009 and to publish three issues annually from 2010.
As a leading expert on the public policy of switching entire nations to digital TV, Michael Starks has been an academic visitor to the University of Melbourne and has lectured at the Communications University of China in Beijing and at the Central European University in Hungary, as well as various UK universities. In 2008 he became a Visiting Fellow at the University of Westminster’s China Media Centre. He has also advised the New Zealand government and the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica on digital switchover policy. In 2006, with Damian Tambini and Maria Trinidad Garcia Leiva, he published an overview of switchover policy in Europe, the United States and Japan in the communications journal, Info. In 2007 he published Digital Switchover: Learning from the Pioneers in the Journal of the Institute of International Communications. He is a member of the Senior Common Room of Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford.
From 2002 to 2004, Michael Starks managed the UK Digital TV Project, working for the UK Government to plan the UK’s digital switchover strategy. Before that he directed the BBC’s initial feasibility study of digital television, became the founder Chairman of the industry-wide UK Digital TV Group, and then led the BBC’s Free-to-View Digital TV Project, which culminated in the launch of Freeview. His earlier career was in broadcasting management and Current Affairs television production, principally for the BBC. He is a History graduate of Cambridge University and studied Political Science as a post-graduate at the University of Pennsylvania as a Thouron scholar.