Tuesday, June 29, 2004

BBC charter renewal

The BBC's charter is due for renewal in a year or two and I'm seeing far too many vultures starting to circle it for my liking. This morning on Today, they had Kelvin MacKenzie (he who wrecked Talk Radio by turning it into TalkSport and turned me towards BBC radio, so thanks for that, Kelvin) advocating dismantling the BBC. This really made me angry (and I was quite disappointed that there was no opposing view, although Ed Stourton made a decent stab) since as far as I'm concerned, the BBC is great value for money with its radio and digital services alone. Radios all over my flat are permanently tuned to Radio 4 and the new digital stations BBC7 and 6 Music are excellent. The Listen Again feature for the radio stations is fantastic and with plans to open up the archive this can only get better. Sure, some of the stuff on the mainstream TV chanels (BBC1 and 2) are mediocre at best, but I'm sure that this is a fad that will pass, once the 'ratings grabbing' mentality dies down as seems to be starting to happen.

Oh, and all this goes without mentioning the website as such at all. I have heard other broadcasters complaining that they can't compete with BBCi because of the public subsidy. Well, my heart bleeds. Frankly, I don't give a damn; I (and millions of other people, it seems) are making a choice to use the BBC as opposed to their services. This says something: that the BBC is better. The whingers want to take away a facility that is actively good for the public. This is what public service broadcasting is all about and if they can't compete then they should either get out of the business or improve their services. I want what's best for the people of this country, not just shareholders and if the BBC's service is better than that of a rival then it's my perogative, indeed, my duty, to use the BBC.

Phew, that was a rant worthy of Captain Caveman :-).

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