Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 17 February 2006

Case upheld against the BBC for 'political balance'

My feeling has usually been that the BBC is, over time, reasonably fair in its reporting on domestic political matters, but occasionally its gets it badly wrong, as in this news bulletin shortly before the last General Election. And the Governors of the BBC agree.

I have thought for a few years that it is increasingly anomalous for official scrutiny of the BBC to be an 'in-house' affair - it should be treated like any other broadcaster and subject to the same stringent rules. The licence fee should also be drastically curtailed and then phased out and the BBC forced to concentrate on its core activities - the proliferation of services it now provides, all funded by the whole public (so few are TV-free that it amounts to the same thing) gives it an unfair competitive advantage compared to channels which must run their businesses by taking account of the fact that we are supposed to have a free market economy in the UK. If we need a 'state broadcaster' then the model should base itself on Channel4 - and their news reporting and analysis is pretty good, too. In fact, do we really need the BBC when Channel4 exists? I'm sure there would be many willing investors if the BBC's assets were to be sold off.

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