100 years of the BBC – Let’s stop knocking an institution we can be truly proud of.

BBC DG Tim Davie

There is a splendid and positive defence of the BBC in The Times today from Tim Davie. As Oscar Wilde put it we always hurt the one we love, we don’t mean to but we do. Sadly some of the Corporation’s most vocal critics do mean to and one of them is the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport. And there are think tanks on the hard Right who have always had the Beeb in their sights. Then there’s Rupert Murdoch…

For me the BBC’s only present day weakness is some of the output of News and Current Affairs. There is more than a suspicion of peddling Government propaganda at times. Channel Four News has shown that you can be publicly owned and still independent. There’s a model there.

The BBC is astonishing value <50p a day per household. But the means of collecting this is anachronistic. You should not need to have a licence in the 21st Century to watch television! The fee’s one virtue is simplicity. But it is a regressive tax and a better solution needs to be found.

Happy birthday to the BBC. You have been a part of my life for 75 of your 100 years and you have enriched it immeasurably, at home and abroad . Thank you.

One thought on “100 years of the BBC – Let’s stop knocking an institution we can be truly proud of.

  1. I agree Paddy. Especially the news and current affairs. The suspicion of being a government mouthpiece is palpable. It needs a serious overhaul. That said, reducing the BBC will damage British national life immeasurably. Ameria’s PBS still makes quality programs worth watching. The Ken Burns series of documentaries are wonderful. My other critic of the BBC is they try too hard to be all things to all people and spread themselves too thin. The result as always is less quality.

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