back to article How can the BBC be saved from itself without destroying it?

Regardless of your opinion of the BBC today, the loss of an independent Beeb would be a loss to British public life. It's the BBC's independence that makes it unique - not, as it likes to insist, its funding from TV licence fees. Many countries have public-funded broadcasters that are bankrolled through a compulsory tax or …

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      1. t20racerman
        FAIL

        "Did the big nasty Auntie ask you to consider an alternate point of view?"

        No, big nastie Auntie asks me to pay them £142 every year, with threat of imprisonment if I don't, if I want to watch Motorbike racing on Eurosport.

        Why should I have to pay? Because you personally like it maybe, but want me and others to fund it for you?

        Well how about making it illegal to buy the Guardian unless you buy a Daily Mail first? Does that sound a sensible policy? It is about as sensible as enforced publc funding for the BBC

        1. chrspy

          Apart from being a self sufficient hermit there is no way to avoid paying for the commercial channels through the advertising premium we all pay on all our goods and services. The figure is approximately £200 p.a.. If you don't watch commercial channels or can't pay the subscriptions you are still paying for the channels - exactly the same situation as you are complaining about with the BBC - except, of course, the BBC is "free to air" which so many commercial channels are not!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @P_0

      Never mind, you've always got Fox for your right-wing knee jerk reactions

    2. Matt Bradley
      Flame

      Too balanced, that's the problem

      These are the kind of comments I frequently see on social media:

      "The BBC are a bunch of lefty pinko socialist commies. No balance at all SHUT DOWN THE BBC"

      "The BBC aren't challenging the cuts at all, those horrible right wing sock puppets OCCUPY THE BBC"

      "There's not enough women on this panel, misogynist scum! BOYCOTT THE BBC"

      "The BBC is just a liberal lefty inclusivity box ticking exercise. PRIVATISE THE BBC"

      ....etc, etc. Seem some people aren't happy unless the channel they are watching is a constant 100% echo chamber for their own beliefs. This is why the world has news providers like Fox News and The Daily Mail: why challenge your beliefs when you can just pump your eyes and ears full of self validating claptrap?

      1. afortiorama
        Thumb Up

        Re: Too balanced, that's the problem

        Indeed!

    3. Smallbrainfield
      WTF?

      Hmmm

      I like the BBC. Some of it is shit, but for the most part it is pretty amazing. And unique. Having been around the world and seen what else on offer I would rather have it than not. The alternative is lots of lowest common denominator programming and lots more adverts.

      US commercial television is for the most part utter shit, apart from HBO, which is pay per view. I think the BBC keeps the standard of the commercial channels from slipping into the shit.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The accounting must be complicated.

      It would seem that it is already partly commercial. How they work out that this page is not funded by the license fee I do not know. Where did they get the capital to set it up?

      www.bbc.com/future

    5. Smig

      Starve the beast.

      Or, just don't pay the "licence" fee.

      I enclose it in quotes as I never recall having to pass and exam nor be tested in order to pay for this alleged "licence".

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure it's different for other people but having to pay around £12/mo for BBC seems expensive. I'm sure if Sky were virtually guaranteed everyone in the UK had to pay they could offer their service for less than £21 (entry) and you get a whole lot more.

    1. Shark? what shark?

      If you believe that Sky could do what the BBC do and/or would lower their prices, I have a bridge you might be interested in.

      Sky are in business to make a profit for their shareholders. Your part in that as a viewer is to give them money.

      Regarding this article, it's not so much about the BBC as an organisation, but rather how it doesn't agree with the climate change orthodoxy as espoused by parts of the register. The BBC bias reflects the majority scientific view, and it would be perhaps better for them to be more sceptical at times, but if their bias was that of the minority view their editorial policies would be severely questioned, and with good reason.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        hmmm

        @shark: This is exactly about the BBC as an organisation. They are funded by a tax to ensure their survival to provide for the people. By provide this isnt the latest political bull and kissing the backsides of the leaders (of anything). It is to provide the impartial view.

        Some have made the claim that the BBC are showing the majority view and that the only other view is denying quacks. This demonstrates the point, the BBC obviously aint providing an impartial view because that consensus and absolutism doesnt actually exist. The religious believer or heretic is made up. The huge spectrum of opinions isnt just in the population but also in the scientists.

        Failure to accurately report in an impartial way turns the BBC from a public service of impartiality to being a propaganda tool. I have no problem with a BBC article reporting with bias towards one view as long as the balance of reality allows other reports which are just as valid.

        However to a believer of the cult of MMCC or the cult of absolutely nothing happening the idea of such balance is opposed. The huge area in the middle are being done a disservice and are being taxed to pay for it.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      "I'm sure it's different for other people but having to pay around £12/mo for BBC seems expensive. I'm sure if Sky were virtually guaranteed everyone in the UK had to pay they could offer their service for less than £21 (entry) and you get a whole lot more."

      £21/month AND ADVERTS AS WELL.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      BBC news may not be what it used to be, but compared to Sky it is a shining paragon of competent, professional, journalism. I still remember watching Sky at the time of the Paddington train crash. The presenter was only interested in the body count, and was practically wetting her pants in excitement every time another dead passenger was found. It was the most disgusting piece of TV "journalism" I have ever seen.

      1. Latimer Alder
        Happy

        And I remember the morons on the BBC R4 programme PM only being interested in the reporting the nunber of journos that had turned up after the Dunblane massacre. Nothing at all about what had happened, just an orgasmic recounting that they were reporting on a Big Story and the Lots of Very Importnat Journos from All Over the World had turned up.

        Jounros in general are a pretty self-satisfied smug and self-important bunch *, but the BBC seesm to brred a class that takes these tendencies to new levels.

        * I exclude Andrew Orlowski, who, on the one occasion I briefly met him was far more interested in teh story than in his ego. He will go far.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My kids like Cbeebies but there are plenty of alternatives. I watch very little on BBC - so guess you have to ask yourself would you life be much worse if you lost BBC or ITV for that matter - I think the others would largely just fill the gap. Yes they do some 'original' programming but let them do that and sell it commercially if that's what they want.

    As for being independent and impartial - yeah right. How many more scandals do we need?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      I suggest you actually watch the output of those alternatives. Most are highly supported by targeted advertising and product placement. Give me Cbeebies any day of the week.

    2. The BigYin

      Public or private, scandals will be scandals. You think it was a publicly funded agency that was involved in the phone hacking? Or maybe a publicly funded church that also engaged in paedophilia?

      The Beeb, for all its faults, it a good counterweight to the likes of ITV and Sky, we lose it at our peril.

      Just like the NHS, for all its faults, is better than a private healthcare system (just ask the USA).

    3. MJI Silver badge

      No BBC then no need for a TV

      Except to play games, BDs and DVDs.

      3/4 of my viewing is BBC, rest is Information TV, Dave, C4, ITV1.

      Get my HD from Freesat and Dave from Freeview

      ITV is basically Downton Abbey and was Primeval

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let the public vote - make the licence fee optional and see how many people 'value' it then. It's got too big, too expensive and full of it's own self importance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There are PLENTY of good radio stations, PLENTY of other news and TV providers. I could certainly live with some adverts if it meant not being FORCED to pay over £140 a year for something I do not / rarely use.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Forced?

        Someone forces you to watch teevee at gunpoint?

        Don't be ridiculous. The Hobbes household has been free of TV since 1994, and the idiot box isn't missed here.

        Thing is though, the BBC also produces rather a lot of news coverage and other reporting. And it's also the one thing standing in the way of Rupert Murdoch and the other members of Club Idiot, all of whom would dearly love to extend the tabloid monopoly on stupidity in all possible directions.

        Knowing a number of Beeb-people it's like any other corporation - management is often clueless or evil, grunts on the ground are often talented and hard-working.

        Taking down the BBC would remove one of the few remaining sources of indepedendent-ish journalism in the UK.

        It's true that the reporting isn't nearly independent enough a lot of the time, and promising 'inconvenient' pieces are often taken down from on high for purely political reasons.

        But the alternative is too horrific to contemplate.

        As for the usual Orlowski hit-piece on 'warmists' - I'll leave that to the people I know who study these things for a living.

        If they had a news channel of their own, that would only be a good thing - not just because it would put creepy and morally questionable self-important poseurs like Orlowski out of work, but because people need to know what's really happening, and the bought-and-paid-for meeja are doing a predictably bad job of explaining the truth to them.

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: Forced?

          I like the way you're commenting on how good the BBC is, but haven't owned a TV since 1994.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Forced?

            > I like the way you're commenting on how good the BBC is, but haven't owned a TV since 1994.

            He believes the consensus view so doesn't need to look or think for himself.

    2. A J Stiles
      FAIL

      "make the licence fee optional"

      The licence fee is *already* optional. If you don't have a TV set, then you don't have to pay it.

      I still wonder why viewing cards were not mandated on all digital receivers right at the very beginning of the digital switchover. The BBC could then have scrambled their transmissions, and the TV licence would be self-enforcing on a "no payment, no pictures" basis.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "There's much discussion about "impartiality" this week, and how it can be measured..."

    I wonder what the official unit of impartiality at The Register is? The cricket umpire, maybe?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      At least if you don't like ITV you have a choice - you don't like the BBC and guess what you still have to pay.

      1. S4qFBxkFFg
        Happy

        "guess what you still have to pay"

        I guess... £0.00

        I regularly listen to BBC radio stations and watch BBC television programmes on iPlayer and occasionally watch DVDs using the TV.

        Fortunately, none of these activities require a TV Licence.

        The demands that come in the post get filed in the bin, and if anyone actually comes to my building asking about it, my answer over the entry intercom will be (at least if I actually get round to fixing it): "not today thanks".

        1. Iain 15
          Thumb Down

          Re: "guess what you still have to pay"

          Unbelievable freetard. You admit benefiting from something you refuse to pay for.

          Lucky not everyone is so selfish, but I guess so long as you are ok the rest of the world can go fornicate itself. I comfort myself with the knowledge that you are a random number selection away from criminal prosecution.

          1. S4qFBxkFFg
            Facepalm

            Re: "guess what you still have to pay"

            "a random number selection away from criminal prosecution"

            For what? I do not watch television programmes as they are being broadcast, therefore, I do not need a licence.

            That is what the law says.

            1. Iain 15

              Re: "guess what you still have to pay"

              You admit having a TV. You need a licence. Strict liability offence I am afraid

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                @iain - go read the actual law

                Or even the summary the TV Licence people put up.

                Owning a TV is in fact completely irrelevant - you can own a TV and not need a licence, or not own a TV and need a licence.

                The two are not directly related.

                The licence is needed if you "operate TV broadcast receiving equipment"

                That might be the live iPlayer, it might be a TV, and until recently it might have been a Ceefax receiver.

                Although owning a TV does make it rather more likely you'll need a licence, they still have to prove you used it for broadcast as opposed to being a dumb monitor.

                After all, my TV has never actually used its tuner and isn't attached to the antenna. I actually need a licence for my Freesat box, not for my TV.

          2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: "guess what you still have to pay"

            .Unbelievable freetard. You admit benefiting from something you refuse to pay for. Lucky not everyone is so selfish, but I guess so long as you are ok the rest of the world can go fornicate itself. I comfort myself with the knowledge that you are a random number selection away from criminal prosecution.

            Unlucky Iain15! Everything he is doing is quite legal - indeed, I and thousands of others (soon to be millions) are doing the same thing.

            The complete lack of reason and the raving hatred you display suggest that there is something wrong with you - probably to do with blood pressure. I would see a doctor if I were you...

          3. Richard 12 Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: "guess what you still have to pay"

            Rubbish.

            If you don't watch or record "live broadcast TV" then you don't need to have a TV licence. That's the law.

            Yes, you can still use iPlayer Catchup, and you can listen to BBC radio.

            I do have a TV licence that I even pay for, and I have absolutely no worries about the odd individual (probably less than a thousand in the country) who only watches iPlayer catchup and listens to BBC radio, no more than I worry about the many thousands of old people who get their TV licence for free.

            If you disagree, then fine, write to your MP and suggest that the law should be changed, but there's no need to insult people for obeying the law.

  5. Magnus_Pym
    FAIL

    More like commercial news?

    Successive governments have been pressuring the BBC to be 'more like commercial stations'. Well they have succeeded beyond their wildest dream. BBC news, at one time the most trusted source in the world is now just as partial, dumbed down and open to political/commercial pressure as any other. Well done.

    The next stage is to sell it off to vested interests and spend the money on propping a broken and obsolete party political system.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flat Earthers

    Before the idiots get here and start suggesting equal time for "deniers" means equal time for flat earthers consider this.

    When a peer reviewed paper comes out that shows droughts haven't increased (in intensity or number) over the last 70 years then the BBC ignores it. When a paper comes out showing climate sensitivity might be less than previously thought, the BBC ignores it. When a paper comes out showing hurricanes aren't increasing in intensity (or frequency) then the BBC ignores it. If any paper comes out showing the opposite (ie increasing droughts/hurricanes/sensitivity) then the BBC will give it the widest possible publicity. That is the impact of having unbalanced reporting on climate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Flat Earthers

      A bit of a rethink needed to your post. If a peer reviewed paper that stands up to inspection gets published the BBC do put out a news story about it, they do I have seen it.

      If a paper that is published and by carefully cherry picking the data you can show that MMCG is not real but that is not the actual conclusion the authors of the paper came to then the BBC will not publish the cherry picked data but the results of the authors conclusion - unlike a certain editor on El Reg who from the tone of your post has got you hook, line and sinker with his 'creative' interpretation of the reports.

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Flat Earthers

        ..A bit of a rethink needed to your post. If a peer reviewed paper that stands up to inspection gets published the BBC do put out a news story about it, they do I have seen it...

        I haven't seen any in the last two years. Cite or reference, please?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Flat Earthers

        > If a peer reviewed paper that stands up to inspection gets published the BBC do put out a news story about it, they do I have seen it.

        If a paper is peer reviewed and published then it has stood up to the inspection of the peer reviewers (no matter how good or bad). The BBC will either completely ignore it as they have done with, as an example, this paper in Nature about droughts: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7424/full/nature11575.html or they will publish a story with loads of caveats about how the authors might be wrong or how some "Greenpeace scientist" thinks they are wrong. On the other hand a story such as this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20252472 which claims the Arabica coffee bean is under threat, and is based solely on computer models, gets the full BBC publicity treatment.

    2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Flat Earthers

      ..If any paper comes out showing the opposite (ie increasing droughts/hurricanes/sensitivity) then the BBC will give it the widest possible publicity...

      If any paper comes out CLAIMing the opposite ....

      There. Fixed that for ya...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The BBC is what you would expect it to be

    I find is surprising that some people argue against the BBC for being to the left of politics as if it cold be any other way.

    It is an organisation/broadcaster for the masses, it provides content to anyone irrespective of their educational ability and irrespective of their wealth, for the most part it does not concern itself with raising income let alone making a profit, yet some people expect it to be full of employees with right wing tendencies? It just isn't going to happen, such an organisation won't attract a significant number of people who lean to the right to change an organisation that size, try another commercial broadcaster or Murdoch's Sky if you want to see right wing bias.

    For those that harp on about the license fee, we pay so much more for other services/departments/people we probably don't want either, get over it or emigrate to a country you would be more comfortable. Don't forget, here is free movement in the EU, I believe they're cutting Gov't spending in Greece, you might find it to your liking...

    1. P_0

      Re: The BBC is what you would expect it to be

      That's all very well, but if, as you say it is impossible to be anything other than left-wing, why should we pay for a license? You say it is incapable of fulfilling its mandate. Then the only conclusion is to get rid of it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The BBC is what you would expect it to be

      Look at the salaries they pay themselves and tell me they aren't obsessed with money.

  8. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    WTF?

    The most frightening part of this arcticle

    was the intro recounting some moron in the FT advocating giving control of the Beeb to Ofcom <shudder>

    Thats about the only way short of giving it to Murdoch that would make things worse.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: The most frightening part of this arcticle

      very true. What next, inviting Microsoft to run the monopolies commission? The Mafia to run the judiciary?

      1. nichomach
        Joke

        Eh, whatsamaddah?

        We gives you da best judges money can buy, capisce?

        (To be read in Joe Viterelli's voice...)

      2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: The most frightening part of this arcticle

        Given the lack of ANY convictions of policemen under any circumstances whatsoever, I thought that the (police) Mafia DID run the judiciary.....

  9. Dave 15 Silver badge

    high minded content, not biased, part of British life.....

    High minded content, cood grief, just look at the BBC's schedule, it broadcasts 24 hours a day drivel and rubbish of the lowest sort

    Unbiased, come now, look at its coverage on the website, pro Apple in anything technological, and completely left wing on anything else. It covers 'the arts' 95% of the time and sod all else in any depth at all - and when it tries it normally gets the basic information wrong.

    Frankly I do scan the website, but I wouldn't really miss it if it was gone, I'd just go and find another one (I just remember their address easiest), as for the radio and TV output, I don't listen/watch now anyway

  10. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Congratulations!

    This is one of the most balanced and powerful statements I have ever heard on the collapse of Establishment thinking when faced with climate activism.

    Note that it does not only apply to the BBC - it applies to the UN and almost every Government...

    1. SuccessCase

      Re: Congratulations!

      I completely agree. I can't believe this has been published on The Register. The Register has a quality range problem, with absolute sh*te being mixed in with the (very occasional) brilliant gem like this. Andrew - I've been critical in the past, but it seems to me your writing is improving all the time and this piece is one of the best pieces of journalism I've read all year - I suggest you should be writing for another publication where your voice will be taken more seriously. !!

  11. Scott Broukell
    Pint

    What the beeb has been excellent at producing over the years is very good news, documentaries and info-media. I would much rather it promptly ditched all the dancing on ice, soaps and costume drama, slimmed down to something more easily afforded via somewhat reduced public funding and left the commercial channels to do all the 'Entertainment'. I mean it's not like there aren't enough other channels to cope with all the dross. Cuts to World Service could be reversed and we could have wall to wall Horizon and David Attenborough-like content.

    Beer, cos I could afford a few more with a lower license fee :)

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