|BBC Charter Review
||[Mar. 31st, 2004|10:00 am]
The deadline for submissions in the first stage of the BBC charter review process it today. If you haven't submitted anything, and feel you have something to say (one way or the other), then you best do it now!|
Get yourself over to http://www.bbccharterreview.org.uk/pc_index.html, have a perusal of the documents, and send them a full response.
If you're a little short on time, just go here, fill in your name, and pop in some quick responses to the main questions.
Go on, make your thoughts known!
2004-03-31 01:41 am (UTC)
I didn't have time to check out the documents just now, but I've had something half-written for a while so I just finished it off and sent it. Thanks for the reminder!
In case anyone cares/wants things to think about for their own submission, here's what I said:
* Even though I support the war on Iraq, it has been good to see the BBC challenging the Govt on the subject. Hutton's conclusions were clearly idiotic given the evidence that was presented. Even though Gilligan did push things a little too far, the BBC shouldn't shrink from taking risks in the future to hold the Government to account. Blair's injured tone at
the assault on his personal credibility is frankly laughable - he has stretched the truth and facts to the utter limits to justify this war, and everyone knows it.
* news.bbc.co.uk is a wonderful source of news that just keeps getting better. Nonetheless, stories are sometimes badly checked (not even internally self-consistent) and inaccurate headlines are chosen for soundbite potential. There should be a link with each story to allow readers to report errors etc.
* The licence fee collection is incompetent and dishonest. On multiple occasions in the last few years (at different addresses) I have received letters claiming that there is no TV licence at the address when there most certainly was. Letters sent out make the claim that "using a TV without a licence is against the law", which TV licensing themselves admit to be false. The excuse that they have made to others who complain about this is that it would be "too long and confusing" to explain every eventuality. This is clearly nonsense, as the letters could easily list the exceptions to this rule, which are not really very complicated. It is
unacceptable that a body with special powers to collect what is effectively a tax is allowed to mislead the public in this way.
I have always either had a valid TV license or not had a TV, but given this behaviour, I will not cooperate with licence inspectors to save their time - if they wish to verify my compliance, they will need a search warrant.
* Who are the BBC governors accountable to? In the spirit of "no taxation without representation", why not make them directly elected by the license fee payers? A number of options for this spring to mind, one of which would be to simply have one elected per month, with voting happening at the same time as license renewal.
* I am strongly opposed to the fact that non-religious people are never allowed to appear on Thought for the Day on Radio 4. Atheism/agnosticism/humanism etc should have parity of esteem with religions. It is not enough to claim that there are plenty of other opportunities for non-religious voices to be heard, unless you introduce an equivalent slot (in terms of listeners and impact) *just* for the non-religious.
* The BBC is being used to manipulate the public in pursuit of a government policy, namely the wholesale switch to digital signals. For example, there is no possible reason for broadcasting episodes of 24 a week early on digital if not to encourage people to switch to digital; you should draw people in with good content, not inappropriate manipulation like that.