Monday 21 August 2017

What does the public want from Public Service Broadcasting?

'Gogglebox' star Leon Bernicoff is usually quite happy with terrestrial TV, not always mind...
'Gogglebox' star Leon Bernicoff is usually quite happy with terrestrial TV, not always mind...
Steve Dempsey

Steve Dempsey

On Thursday the British government told the BBC where to go. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport produced a green paper that laid out how the British Broadcasting Corporation may need to change in size, scope and funding. It's all part of the review of the Royal Charter under which the BBC operates and which expires at the end of next year.

Conservative politicians have been queuing up to get the boot in. John Whittingdale, the UK's culture secretary has referred to the corporation as "bloated", and chancellor George Osborne said that the BBC was "imperial in its ambitions".

So when the green paper arrived on Thursday, it was no surprise that it asked some fundamental questions. Should the BBC be smaller? Should a mix of public funding and subscription services replace the license fee?

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