The fight for the future of the BBC | podcast | News

For greater than 100 years the BBC has been a mainstay of British life. The broadcaster’s information bulletins, cleaning soap operas, youngsters’s programming, comedies, dramas, live shows, sport protection and nature documentaries have formed the nation’s id, and received the enduring loyalty of audiences round the world.

Since 1922, the BBC’s choices have been funded by its licence payment – a cost initially linked to buy of a wi-fi radio, Charlotte Higgins, the Guardian’s chief tradition author and writer of This New Noise: The Extraordinary Beginning and Troubled Life of the BBC, notes. As we speak, that payment involves £159 per yr, or 43p per day.

However this week, the tradition secretary, Nadine Dorries, introduced that the authorities can be freezing the BBC licence payment for the subsequent two years, forcing the BBC to make deep cuts to its programming. Although the announcement appeared clearly designed to distract from calls for Boris Johnson to resign as prime minister, it’s half of a a lot greater fight about the broadcaster’s future.

Hundreds of thousands of kilos are at stake, and so is the very id of a storied, civic-minded British establishment, which arguably represents the very character of the UK itself. Guardian media reporter Jim Waterson tells Michael Safi there are sensible causes to cast off the licence payment – however the actual query is whether or not or not politicians are prepared to make a good-faith effort to search out alternate sources of funding.


Curved wall of a BBC building with large logo central


{Photograph}: Will Oliver/EPA

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