Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Charter chunter 4

Julian Knight (Chester Catholic High School and Hull University), the new Tory MP for Solihull, worked on business and personal finance news in the BBC for five years, and has written seven books in the "Dummies" series, including "Cricket for Dummies".

The first chapter of what I presume to be "BBC for Dummies", published on Conservative Home today, offers this political insight into how and why, he says, Auntie campaigned for a coalition. .

"The corporation had it all mapped out. A shaky coalition – preferably of the left – would limp along, both unable and unwilling to challenge Auntie over the next charter renewal."

"A wish list was drawn up in W1A – including a crackdown on those viewing BBC content on digital devices and not paying a licence fee, retention of criminal sanctions against non-payers, and, finally a nice inflation-busting rise in the licence fee. Forget ‘five more years’: seven years of feast was in the BBC’s sights. Then came the exit poll – and it wasn’t only Miliband’s dreams that were shattered, but those of many in the upper management of the corporation."

Knight has a range of solutions to put the BBC right. "The BBC News website should be a commercial enterprise, living or dying by the market rather than effectively killing off proto-regional news websites. Any new offering from the BBC should be done on a purely commercial basis."

"The pay differentials in the organisation are massive, and the organisation should show its seriousness about reform by not waiting for charter renewal to tackle this."

"The BBC should try and reconnect with localism, and use its deep talent pool to commercially drive forward its business. For too long, the BBC has looked at regional broadcast as something to be endured and which costs it money. What about instead looking at regionalism as means by which to strike out into the private sector – but from a position of equality rather than having the huge advantage of the Licence Fee behind it ?"

No, I don't know what he means either....

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