The BBC Trust: a work in progress

A chorus of critics is calling for the abolition of the BBC Trust. Yes, it may be flawed but this body could yet be reformed to fulfil its public service function.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

The BBC Trust: a work in progress

A chorus of critics is calling for the abolition of the BBC Trust. Yes, it may be flawed but this body could yet be reformed to fulfil its public service function.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

My Beeb: a precarious memoir

Working at the BBC is no guarantee of a career in journalism. An ex-employee recounts their journey from the news desk to claiming unemployment benefits. 

The BBC Trust: a work in progress

A chorus of critics is calling for the abolition of the BBC Trust. Yes, it may be flawed but this body could yet be reformed to fulfil its public service function.

Scrutinising the Scrutineers: part 3

UK media coverage of EU issues is frequently superficial and plagued by basic errors. The BBC, and others, must work to change this.

The plurality deficit: public service broadcasting and institutional competition

Is institutional competition the answer to the ‘plurality deficit’ in public broadcasting? The evidence suggests no.

Scrutinising the Scrutineers: part 2

Infuriated by the BBC’s lack of coverage of its work, The European Scrutiny committee is at the centre of a discussion about the ‘limits’ of the corporation's independence. 

Scrutinising the Scrutineers: part 1

The European Scrutiny Committee has locked horns with the BBC, repeatedly accusing it of a pro-EU bias. Is the corporation’s editorial independence under threat? 

The Public and the Public Interest

A journalism fund, financed by levying the profits of incumbent media companies, could transform local and investigative journalism in Britain. Such a move has the support of the public. 

Even on its own terms Westminster journalism makes increasingly little sense

The elite world of Westminster journalism used to be irrelevant to people's lives. Now, as an election approaches, it can barely comprehend itself. 

What would a world without the BBC look like?

The author of the recent BBC history Pinkoes and Traitors responds to her critics, arguing for the book’s contemporary relevance. 

Writing the BBC: the perils of historiography

Jean Seaton’s book on BBC in the 70s and 80s has been widely faulted. But is there some intrinsic reason why writing histories of the BBC is so difficult?  

The BBC and the arms trade: a silent scandal

In its recent appointments to the BBC Trust, the government has deeply associated our public broadcaster with the arms trade. Why aren’t we talking about this?

Does the governance and regulation of the BBC need to be changed?

The third City University and OurBeeb seminar on the future of the BBC was held on Thursday 26 March. This time, a real consensus began to emerge.

Positive discrimination may have to be introduced at the BBC

Is the BBC really making good on its promise to "reflect the diversity of its audiences in both its programmes and workforce"? An ex-employee calls for radical change. 

The election debates: winners and losers?

The broadcasters appear to have settled on a format for the UK election debates. But who won and who lost in this stand-off?

'Pinkoes and Traitors': a tunnel vision of broadcasting history

Jean Seaton’s latest history of the BBC is mired by typos, inconsistencies and factual errors. Far from incidental, this is symptomatic of a broader carelessness that ultimately undermines her analysis. 

A post-broadcast BBC: time for the public to speak?

‘Digital public space’ is an inspiring vision of the future of the BBC. Its full realisation, however, demands greater public input in the allocation of the corporation’s resources. 

Welcome to the echo chamber

From Reuters to the BBC the future of journalism is being presented as cyber-utopia. For many in the industry, though, the reality is of poor quality content fuelled by dodgy ethics. 

"Nobody has a God given right to be heard": an interview with John Humphrys

John Humphrys, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, gives his view on the changing world of journalism and the challenges facing young people who wish to enter the industry. 

India’s Daughter: platforming rapists and ignoring activists

Udwin’s intervention has been true to her self-assigned role as an ‘amplifier’, but the only voice given an international platform here other than her own is that of the rapist.

Wolf Hall is a history lesson in power

Wolf Hall depicts the dehumanizing effects of power pursued for its own sake. Acting without impunity, irresponsible power undermines common morality for selfish motives. Jimmy Savile is a case in point.

The ‘Election Debates’ debate: is legislation the answer?

Ed Miliband has promised legislation that would see regulators imposing a debate structure at future general elections. Could it work? And is that the best answer? 

The problem of representation in ‘India’s Daughter’

Jyoti Singh, the real name of the woman in question, has not been allowed to be what she was, but made into what she had no say over.

The BBC's imaginary crossroads

Tony Hall’s speech on March 2 was full of invented threats. This was a denial of the imminent need for change: the BBC needs rivals and the UK needs more voices. 

The BBC, the licence fee and the digital public space

The Controller of the BBC’s archive strategy maintains the institution’s fundamental role within the media ecology and argues that the Licence Fee should safeguard a new democratic digital public space.

Could the BBC survive without the licence fee?

If licence fees are decriminalised, the BBC could lose £200 million a year in unpaid debts. Adopting a subscription system would be fairer and free it from political control

Public service broadcasting at a crossroads

The timing of today's report on the 'Future of the BBC' is vital to understanding its argument. The Corporation is likely to be a major issue in the coming elections. 

Lose the licence fee, abolish the Trust

A new House of Commons report sets out the issues for the forthcoming review of the BBC Charter. It calls for the abolition of the BBC Trust and a long-term replacement for the licence fee. 

Beyond our shores: Europhobia and the BBC

The BBC has been attacked from all sides about its European coverage. How it responds will have consequences far beyond the newsroom.  

Freedom of information: a smokescreen of accountability

If the entire BBC is protected from answering requests under the Freedom of Information Act who exactly does it remain accountable to?

Less velvet glove, more iron fist

The new Chair of the BBC Trust Rona Fairhead has given her first public speech which was widely reviewed. Now the dust has settled – but what did Rona say, and more importantly, what did she really mean? 

"There's a proper market for proper journalism": an interview with Robert Peston

Robert Peston gives his views on what it's like for entry level broadcast journalists in the BBC - and elsewhere - today. This is one of a series of features on, and by, young journalists. 

Leon Brittan and Channel 4: an unsung role

A role not mentioned so far in the obituaries. In memoriam.

Adam Curtis in the emperor's new clothes

Curtis has the glorious bounty of the entire BBC archives at his fingertips, he ranges across continents and across decades, and which voice dominates all of his programmes? The omnipotent narrator.

Leader debates: Cameron’s calculations

The broadcasters can't "empty chair" the Prime Minister - he may well get what he wants.

Speaking truth about the BBC and power

The BBC has never championed 'speaking truth to power' and its capacity for critical journalism is weaker than ever.

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