Public service broadcasting in the digital age

Craig Berry

A Compass Publication

Some – chiefly private, multinational media firms – have started to question the continued utility oft he principle of ‘public service broadcasting’, or more specifically the existence of publicly-funded broadcasters such as the BBC. The Conservative Leader, David Cameron, has joined in with this, too, arguing that the state should no longer be funding broadcasting services to the extent that it has in the past.

The consensus of opinion, to judge from media coverage, is that the BBC is expanding too far into the new media environment, unfairly disadvantaging the private sector. Such a perspective almost certainly influenced the Government when it announced recently that the television license fee would be increased only at a below-inflation rate – in real terms a cut in funding – over the next decade

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