Friday, 31 October 2008

After Russell Brand: Public Service Broadcasting Wars

Mick wants a debate, Paulie wants a fight. & Mrs. Charlie is ex-World Service. So why do I pause before agreeing with them?

As I watch my children effortlessly scroll thorugh upteen digital channels, draw up old programmes through TV on demand and treat i-player as a birthright I seriously doubt that the old licence fee funded model - perhaps 'ideology' would be a better word than 'model' - of a public service broadcaster appealing to all of the community's various tastes and concerns can survive more than another decade.

I have a vague sense that the BBC - or public service broadcasting more generally - has to become more like a public library than a publishing house, whilst stimulating the production of a wider range of books. More like a web browser than a series of websites, but one which does 'point' to a wide range of content and ensures that it is available.Basically: more like the Arts Council in tis relationship with artists. But I struggle to imagine how we can give this a 'left' face.....

The 'old' public service broadcasting argument still applies to news and current affairs mind. There the argument is about independence from sources of money and power...

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