Defend the BBC!
As you may have noticed, the government is reviewing the BBC's Charter.
And, quite unsurprisingly, commercial lobbyists are lining up to flay the Corporation.
What with the government's irritation with a public service broadcaster that dares
to report independently, the voices calling for it to be reduced to the marginal
status of, for example, PBS in the USA are preaching to the choir.
Who really wants the BBC to be reduced to running month-long "begathons"
to raise operating expenses from viewers' donations? (PBS has been known to run all-day
Doctor Who festivals for this purpose - which is nice, but hardly the
mark of a strong public service.)
Who wants the news to be sponsored by corporations that just happen to have
interests in influencing reporting? (Yes, it's an easy rhetorical question: those
corporations do, and so does News Corp.)
Or who wants the BBC to be dependent on the Chancellor? Imperfect though
the licence fee may be in economic theory, it's the least bad means of funding
Of course, journalists have our complaints about the BBC. We insist that the
definition of "Public Service Broadcaster" must include treating
all creators fairly, in particular stopping rights-grabs.
All members [were] encouraged to respond to the Charter Review. You may find
the Creators' Rights Alliance response linked below helpful in drafting your
own. The deadline [was] 31 March 2004.
Meanwhile, OFCOM has launched a Public Service Broadcasting Television consultation and there'll be more consultations along in a minute...