Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Only two significant mentions of the BBC in the first White Paper on Culture for fifty years. One notes the BBC's collaboration with the Public Catalogue Foundation to launch, giving online access to thousands of works of art. (George Entwistle is a trustee.)

And the other:

Our broadcasting industry is also a powerful champion of our culture overseas. The BBC has the highest global reach of any broadcaster. More than 50 per cent of global business leaders in key global markets have weekly contact with the BBC: 79 per cent of them believe the BBC is “a great ambassador for the UK”, ranking it ahead of all other institutions.

In the 2015 Spending Review, the government announced additional funding for the BBC World Service over the spending review period, building to £85 million per annum, of which £70 million will count as Overseas Development Assistance. This additional funding will enable the BBC to retain its global remit and reach, increasing people’s access to news and information which will contribute to good governance globally and support economic, social and political progress.

It will also enable the BBC to focus on the riches of its arts output and the UK’s cultural scene.

Hmm. And we thought the £85m of taxpayer dosh was for new services to North Korea, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Thailand, Nigeria, etc...

Anyway, now Ed Vaizey has finished that little White Paper, maybe he could now crack on with Whittingdale on the one that matters....

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