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A Future for Public Service Television$
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Des Freedman and Vana Goblot

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781906897710

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9781906897710.001.0001

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The BBC: A Radical Rethink

The BBC: A Radical Rethink

(p.170) 20 The BBC: A Radical Rethink
A Future for Public Service Television

Justin Schlosberg

The MIT Press

This chapter considers the proposed changes to the BBC's governance and a system of appointments that threaten to encroach on the BBC's editorial autonomy. What is particularly striking about this development is that it pushes in the general direction of growing state control of public service media. The BBC White Paper for Charter Renewal proposed a new ‘unitary board’ of which the majority and most senior members would be appointed by government. For the first time in its history, such an approach threatened to give a direct government appointee overall editorial responsibility for all of the BBC's output. What is equally striking about this move is that it flies in the face of what the government has long intimated was at the heart of its charter renewal agenda: to introduce a system of contestable funding to effectively break up the BBC and enable more local and commercial providers to take a slice of the licence fee.

Keywords:   BBC, white paper, public service broadcasting, broadcasting policy, governance, state control

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