Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Rona and the pellucid brains of 180 Great Portland Street have had a go at re-writing the BBC's public purposes.

  • To inform: Providing news and information which helps everyone understand the world around them; 
  • To educate: Supporting learning and education for people of all ages; 
  • To entertain: Providing distinctive, creative, original and entertaining content. 
  • Reflecting, representing and serving everyone in the UK; 
  • Reflecting the UK to the world, and; 
  • Contributing to the UK’s creative economy.
I'm not sure adding dash matter to Lord Reith's pithy trio helps. The 'news' mission is to "everyone", and not circumscribed by "in the UK", as others are. Presumably we'll be hiring some additional language speakers. Why does "education" have to be "for people of all ages" - do the others not apply across the years ?  On entertainment, yes, great to welcome it back to the Public Purposes, but does everything have to be original ? Is there no room for old jokes, loved songs, black and white films ? What does "creative" mean when attached to "content" ?

In the new three, is reflecting something different to representing ? Is there a subtlety here I'm missing ? And is there to be a metric attached to "Contributing to the UK's creative economy" ?  If you compare with the current six, this is quite a shift from the current "Technology" purpose - which has cost Auntie large slices of licence fee over the past twenty years. 

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