February 27, 2004

Frost Hits the Rhubarb

Replace BBC with CBC in this Article: What Do You Think?

UK: Media experts urge radical overhaul for 'failing' BBC Tom Leonard, Feb. 24, 04

The BBC is failing in its public service remit and should be radically overhauled, a panel of media experts will say today.

A report commissioned by the Conservative Party to consider the corporation's future has concluded that the over-reliance on the BBC to provide public service programmes is unhealthy for democracy.

It attacks the current system of a statutory licence fee and calls instead for rival broadcasters to compete with each other for money to make programmes on subjects such as the arts, education and current affairs.

[. . . .] It coincides with the publication of another paper, written by Barry Cox, the Government's digital television adviser, which also argues that the BBC should not have a monopoly on licence-fee money.

The BBC faces growing criticism of the scale of its ambitions, which have seen it moving aggressively into the internet, magazine publishing and merchandising.

[. . . .] The report does not advocate the immediate abolition of the licence fee on the grounds that this would be impractical.

However, it claims that policy makers should realise that the potential of an alternative subscription system will become increasingly clear when the country converts completely to digital television. When that happens, every household will have the means of paying electronically for the programme content it wants.

The report says that public service broadcasting is currently failing and, at every level, is both diluting and narrowing.


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