Reasons Not To Top-Slice #21

July 22, 2009

Steve Hewlett in Media Guardian;

The most serious issue (as the BBC keeps saying to little effect) is the threat “top-slicing” poses to BBC independence. It is worth remembering what a fragile flower this is. Independence is the BBC’s key editorial and creative asset and yet it is only sustained, in such a typically British way, by a series of individually flimsy conventions. That the BBC royal charters should be 10 years and each licence fee settlement a minimum of 5 years isn’t written down anywhere, but it protects the BBC from having to mix too frequently with politicians who just can’t help trying to exert influence. That the BBC exists by Royal Charter at all and is in that sense not really owned by the government is another protection. And so is the BBC’s monopoly on the licence fee: it prevents an open competition for this revenue in which politicians (or government appointees) would have the final say.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: