Open Assessment: The Think Tank Report
Last week the widely acclaimed think tank Policy Exchange released their report into the future of UK broadcasting. They main proposals centred around the BBC and the way it should be. This think tank report might give us an indication of what may happen if the Conservatives get into power. This is due to this think tank being centre-right and that is exactly what the Tories are.
The think tank says that the BBC needs to cut the amount it spends on entertainment shows for 16-35 range and sports rights. This seems like a blur of judgement due to the fact that the BBC are top dogs when it comes to delivering good sports coverage, commercial free and to a standard that sees all. The programming on the BBC falls into what the BBC was born on, it’s remit to educate, entertain and inform. While this is only a think tank’s proposals, it is possible that a Tory government could put pressure on the BBC. The poor 16-35 year old range will have to look elsewhere it seems if they got there way.
BBC Three controller Danny Cohen, who spoke to BBC Radio 5Live “Young people pay their licence fee too and I don’t quite understand why young people who pay just as much as other parts of the population shouldn’t get just as much value out of their licence fee as everyone else,”
And that brings us to the point of the licence fee. For as far back as i can see, the debate of whether we should have to pay a fee rages on. With us paying a TV Licence it has enabled public service broadcasting in the UK to be the best in the world. Although is it time that the BBC went commercial, throw it to the wolves?
The report does suggest that some of the licence fee is goes to Channel 4 or E4 to help attracting the 16-35 ranges, but BBC Three which has become the hub of programming for that range will become what exactly? While ITV and Five are free to roam in the sense that water is free, the think tank does say that they should be given the option to opt out of their public service broadcasting requirements.
Maybe they should be given the opportunity to be relieved of their duties, or maybe it’s best not to knock the status quo. With the current economic climate broadcasters have suffered quite badly, this could add more damage.
The report can be viewed in full at http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/
Next week, we’ve sent out the questions but are they confident enough to let us know their plans for the media if they win? The political parties respond to us.