Cutting the BBC not the answer

Posted on February 2, 2010. Filed under: BBC, media, Rupert Murdoch |

The Conservative’s plan to top-slice or freeze the BBC’s licence fee sends warning signs about the future of the broadcaster under its governance.

Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt said the savings could be used to fund a new “superfast” broadband network.

This effectively allows him to kill two birds with one stone; appearing to address Britain’s lagging broadband speeds, while acquiescing to the Murdochs.

Rupert Murdoch has openly supported a Tory government for the next election. While James has made unsubtle swipes at the BBC, and what he sees as its over-blown proportions.

The trouble is, there is some truth in claims the BBC has got grown beyond its purpose. There is repetition across channels, and in some instances, BBC content does not vary greatly from its commercial counterparts. And what was the justification for Worldwide’s 2008 snap-up of independent travel guide, Lonely Planet?

When compared to the starved Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC appears a domineering monster. However, it is the one organisation that can continually fund serious journalism, culture and the arts, while fostering new talent.

The BBC must be accountable to the tax payer and continue to deliver unique, representative and quality broadcasting for the populace. However, it could not better serve the public with a reduction in the licence fee. It would better serve Murdoch, and hence, the likely new government.

We do need faster broadband, but it should not come at the cost of a diverse and robust public broadcaster.


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