for diverse, democratic and accountable media

Blog posts from Laura Davison

A critical time for the BBC

blog posts

The BBC's charter runs out at the end of next year, while the licence fee settlement is due to expire in 2017.The current licence fee settlement was based on a dodgy deal done behind closed doors which saw the licence fee frozen and additional responsibilities such as the fantastic BBC World Service, S4C, BBC Monitoring and the roll-out of fast broadband heaped on the corporation at a cost of £340m.During this period the BBC will have made £1.5 billion in annual savings. This has been made on the back of year-on-year cuts for the past decade which have damaged grassroots programming and journalism.The BBC World Service has shut more than a dozen local language services.The BBC, Europe's biggest provider of media and creative skills, as had its training budget reduced by 20 per cent. Additional money - up to £25m - from the licence fee has been diverted into propping up the failed Local Television initiative.On top of this, director-general, Tony Hall, has proposed plans to hive off BBC in-house TV production into a separate commercial subsidiary which would make programmes for the corporation and other broadcasters. This would need changes to the charter.

» Read on


Freedom of Information at risk?
Hard-won 'rights to know' might be restricted by future expenditure cuts in Whitehall and campaigners fear the Freedom of Information Act could become a target for efficiency savings. Listen to our latest podcast about threats to FOI, with Nicholas Jones.
» Subscribe
» Read on