Monitor: The Sunday papers comment on the future of BBC programming and how to pay for it

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The Independent Culture
THE BBC can no longer expect people to watch its output merely because it is there. Commercial companies have picked up the baton of innovation that was once held by the BBC - both in programming and technology. But the BBC mentality is still that of the monopolist, when in fact it is merely the market leader and has to fight every day to be that. Even though people receive the BBC for nothing - or for nothing more than the licence cost - an increasing number prefer to pay for an alternative.

Sunday Business

CULTURE SECRETARY Chris Smith is getting tough with the BBC. He is to tell them yet again there will be no more cash unless they get their act together and give us better programmes. That is one repeat we are prepared to accept.

News of the World

THE TIME has come to rethink what are the values that should be at the core of being a public-service broadcaster. What public subsidy should do is enable the BBC to create the benchmarks - of editorial integrity, of scrupulous accuracy and fairness, and of a duty to inform - which set the standards against which the rest of the industry can be judged.

The Independent on Sunday

IF THIS country wants a truly first-class national broadcasting corporation, it will have to take the plunge and make a real investment in the future. A new licence for a new level of service. Those who pay a little bit extra get a great deal more.

Will Wyatt (Express on Sunday)

THE BBC should concentrate on enriching its core services and ensuring that they are truly distinctive from commercial offerings. That will not ghettoise the BBC - it will return it to its original purpose. Nor does this mean that the BBC should not produce new digital services. However, where they are largely replicating commercial channels, they should be funded by the BBC's commercial arm. The BBC should re-assess its priorities rather than demanding ever more money as a divine right.

Elisabeth Murdoch (The Observer)