Home but not dry: reflections on the draft BBC Charter and Agreement – David Puttnam and Des Freedman

“In conclusion, we are not quite as optimistic as the director general in relation to the draft Charter. There is little here to prevent the government from influencing the composition of the new unitary board or from once again using licence fee revenue to pursue its own political projects (as it did when forcing the BBC to pay for free TV licences for the over-75s as part of its welfare reforms). Instead, the BBC is to be handed an eleven-year extension with limited prospects for growth, and a requirement that it must not negatively impact the wider media market. Taken together the proposed Charter and Agreement comes across not as a vote of confidence but a ‘holding position’.

This article was originally published in Broadcast and on the LSE Media Policy Project blog and reproduced with permission and thanks”

Inforrm's Blog

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-16-12-46-213x300It is a well-established trick of the policy trade that if you want to implement unpopular changes, you should threaten the worst and then compromise so that both sides can then claim success.

This is what appears to have happened with the publication of the draft BBC Charter and Agreement such that the director general, Tony Hall, could speak of a ‘hard won charter’ that will guarantee the BBC’s immediate future.

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