BBC ordered to make its website less commercial

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The Independent Online

The BBC was ordered by Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, to make its websites more distinctive from commercial alternatives after an independent review into its online services was published yesterday.

The BBC was ordered by Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, to make its websites more distinctive from commercial alternatives after an independent review into its online services was published yesterday.

The report, commissioned by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, said some sites did not match the BBC's public service remit. It added that websites such as fantasy football, games pages and "what's on" listings also needed to be made less like those in the commercial sector.

The report by Philip Graf, chairman of the Press Standards Board of Finance, said the BBC should not take new online proposals forward if there is a "close call" between the public service benefits and the costs of the initiative. The report said BBC Online should prioritise news, current affairs, education and information. It recommended that two BBC governors should be experts in new media and competition law.

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