Future of BBC Funding

For several weeks now the Government lobby has been mooting the possibility that NOT purchasing a TV Licence will no longer result in the ultimate sanction of a prison sentence.

Newspapers like the Daily Mail have screaming headlines suggesting that this could be the end of the BBC if people stop purchasing a TV Licence because the punishment for not doing so is reduced.

The issue, of course, is much wider and more serious than this, however.

The whole future of public service broadcasting, not only in Britain but around the world, is under threat as the ramifications of a digitalised media industry continues to be felt.

The BBC is currently coping with a frozen TV Licence for a six year period. In order to cope with static income the Corporation has been simplifying many of its operations and rationalising what it really thinks is its core mission.

Detailed debate is necessary but the starting point is surely to stress that public service media is more important than ever in an age of mass self expression. It is the place most people go to find out the truth.

What the British Government, the BBC and interest parties need to do is to fashion a strategy which results in the strengthening and ultimate survival of a public service strand of broadcasting (both TV and radio) which properly serves the nation.



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