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Friday, November 21, 2008

The BBC doing what it does best

Today's the day the BBC Trust report back on the Brand/Ross debacle. It's widely expected they'll announce their retreat from their proposed network of local video sites at the same time. This morning's Today programme contained an excellent feature about the dilemma that Manuelgate has thrust the Corporation into.

Old generation licence fee payers, like Charles Moore, resent being asked to subsidise material that offends them. New generation licence fee payers, like Emily Bell, wonder how long people will be happy to pay the money for a TV licence when the TV is no longer the machine through which they access most of the BBC's output. Other media organisations wonder whether there are any areas that the BBC doesn't see itself getting into. Members of Parliament question why senior BBC management seems to get paid more than its counterparts in the private sector.

Chief Operating Officer Caroline Thomson was given the John Humphreys treatment over these and other questions. I'm not sure that she put any of them to bed but the fact that a BBC programme did this item, and did it so well, is a very strong argument for the licence fee. You can listen to it here.