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?Read more
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".Read more
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.Read more
We have just launched a new campaign video. Click below to watch it. And please share it with your family and friends.
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.Read more
Responding to the judgement in the High Court this morning, Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns for The Freedom Association, said:
"I am delighted that Sir Cliff Richard has won his case in the High Court this morning. The BBC should have accepted that it had acted wrongly by invading his privacy in this most disgraceful way. But instead, the BBC is considering appealing against today's judgement describing it as a 'dramatic shift against press freedom'.Read more
The following is a guest post by the Rev Dr Peter Mullen, Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association. Peter is reflecting on last Saturday's Today programme.
I switch on Radio Four just before seven o’clock in the morning for the weather forecast, listen to the news headlines and then turn off before the relentless barrage of propaganda from the lefty clones who present The Today Programme has chance to reduce me to a gibbering wreck. But this morning I was late and, by the time I’d switched on, Britain’s very own version of Pravda was in full swing.
They were discussing this weekend’s election in Hungary in which Prime Minister Victor Orban is seeking another term.Read more
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Christa Ackroyd, a former BBC presenter who was paid through her own personal service company (PSC) and who left the BBC very abruptly five years ago. Ms. Ackroyd has since been given a £419,000 tax bill by HMRC because the tax man said that she should have been an employee of the BBC.
Many current and former BBC journalists and presenters accuse the corporation of forcing them to use PSC's. This morning it was the turn of Liz Kershaw, Kirsty Lang, Paul Wise, and Stuart Linnell.Read more
Christa Ackroyd used to be part of the fixtures and fittings at BBC Look North in Leeds. Sitting next to Harry Gration on the Look North sofa, she must have interviewed thousands of guests - me included. Suddenly, five years ago she was abruptly ousted from her place on the sofa, never to return again.
She was accused of being a tax dodger because she was not employed by the BBC. She was instead paid through her own personal service company (PSC). Yes, her tax liability was lowered by not being employed, but the BBC also benefited because it didn't have to pay employer's national insurance contributions, holiday pay and sick pay.Read more
This campaign, as its name suggests, campaigns against the TV licence. We do, from time to time, criticise the BBC when we think it deserves it. Today, however, we are going to praise the BBC for honestly reporting news from Egypt.
Last week the BBC broadcast a report that addressed torture and the repression of dissent in Egypt. Press freedom is not high on the list of priorities for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi (pictured left). Keeping a grip on power is right at the top. Although the presidential election is taking place this year, he has managed to manoeuvre all opponents out of the way and he is the only candidate.Read more