Oliver Dowden (pictured left), the new Culture Secretary, gave a speech at the Enders Media and Telecoms Conference yesterday. He told the audience that "in the coming years we will of course be taking a proper look at our public service broadcasting system and the BBC’s central role within it." He also said that we need to consider three questions. Does the BBC truly reflect all of our nation and is it close to the British people? Does the BBC guard its unique selling point of impartiality in all of its output? Is the BBC ready to embrace proper reform to ensure its long term sustainability for the decades ahead? Continue reading
In an article published in the Daily Mail yesterday, Culture Secretary, Nicky Morgan, wrote: "Twenty years ago Blockbuster, the then heavyweight of video rentals, turned down a £38 million merger offer from Netflix. Today Netflix is worth £50 billion, 1,300 times its offer to Blockbuster – which has gone from 3,000 stores to a museum in Oregon, for people who want to remember what video cassettes look like. Netflix now competes with the likes of Amazon, Google and Apple for dominance of the multi-billion-dollar streaming market. The result is that people now spend three times as much time watching subscription services such as Netflix than they do BBC iPlayer. More children now recognise the names Netflix and YouTube than they do the BBC. I believe, no matter how well-funded these international streaming giants are, UK public service broadcasters are vital". Continue reading
I gave up watching Newsnight on BBC Two years ago, pretty much at the same time as Jeremy Paxman hung up his boots. Rather like Channel 4 News, the presenters don't try to mask their metropolitan left-wing biases. Probably the most condescending (and humourless) of the lot of them is Emily Maitlis. Continue reading
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The BBC is not exactly popular at the moment after its decision to scrap free TV licences for the over-75s who are not in receipt of pension credit. It has reneged on the deal it negotiated with the Government four years ago, and because the Government is a shambles at the moment, it knew it could get away with it. All we have had from the Prime Minister is a spokesman saying that she is very disappointed with the BBC. I know she is on the way out, but could she not have come up with something stronger than that? The BBC, of course, has painted a doomsday scenario in order to justify its decision. It would have to close down BBC 2 and other channels to plug the gap if it didn't grab the cash from most over-75s. The fact that it is wasteful, has over a hundred employees paid more than the Prime Minister, and pays Gary Lineker £1.7 million a year for commenting on recorded highlights of football matches (something any competent sports journalist could do for a fraction of the cost) doesn't seem to register in the minds of the BBC's top brass. They are more interested in feathering their own nests at the expense of some of the poorest in society. Continue reading