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Since the Second World War, when the BBC provided news and comfort for a nation in great peril, it has played a central role in British life and culture. That is why any proposals for radical change at the Corporation, or any sign that its standards might be slipping, deeply disturb its loyal admirers.

Email trail: What the BBC bosses really knew

On 29 May 2010, Nick Vaughan-Barratt sent an email to George Entwistle (then the BBC’s Controller of Knowledge Commissioning):

Russell Lynch: Auction of 4G mobile spectrum is a wish come true for the Chancellor

Consumers are demanding super-fast broadband on their jazzy new smartphones and tablets
David Cameron said: 'I'm a massive supporter of marriage and I don't want gay people to be excluded from a great institution'

Can Cameron live down his "Wor Jackie" moment?

Our diarist says the Prime Minister's pop culture references don't always stack up

The BBC chairman Chris Patten (left) has been commenting after last night's resignation of the BBC Director General George Entwistle (right)

Entwistle's pay-off is a boiling point for the BBC

But there are bigger things at stake than the £450,000 he took home

For all their faults, Newsnight and Jeremy Paxman are too good for the BBC to sacrifice because of the scandals over Jimmy Savile and Lord MacAlpine

Don't sacrifice decades of journalistic quality because of two very different mistakes

BBC's freelance stars' estimated earnings

The Deloitte review found the BBC pays £150,000 or more a year to 124 stars using public service companies.

BBC forces stars to give up freelance deals due to tax-dodge perception

Corporation to register 131 on-air presenters as staff in change to pay policy after review

Hidden scandal: Jimmy Savile, when he was made OBE in 1972

'Savile assaulted me in his room at Stoke Mandeville'

Further allegations of sexual assault were made against Jimmy Savile last night, as yet more women came forward to say that they had been attacked by the former television star.

If Jeremy Paxman has decided to stop wearing ties to work, that must mean they're back in fashion

It used to be simple. Men wore ties in almost every professional and formal setting

John Walsh: Sins you get away with – and those you don't

My friend Mary Killen, who writes the "Dear Mary" etiquette column for The Spectator, received a real chin-stroker in the post this week. "Now that Conrad Black is out of prison," writes her correspondent, "is it acceptable for me to invite him to lunch at my club?"

Work for your pension? That’s a bit rich, my Lord

Our diarist notes the curious perspective of a senior Whitehall mandarin, has an update on the outspoken Nadine Dorries, and offers a reminder of Conrad Black's taste

BBC to crack down on tax-avoiding stars after accusation of being 'complicit' in tax avoidance

The BBC currently allows some workers to be paid as if they were companies rather than individual staff

Archie Bland: MPs take too much pleasure in pillorying wrongdoers

FreeView from the editors at i

Top earners cost BBC £16m

The BBC paid more than £16 million to top talent in 2011/12, according to its accounts.

Jeremy Paxman has spent years terrifying guests, but was bested twice last week

Have they found the answer to Paxman?

After years of terrifying guests, the grand inquisitor was bested twice last week. Brian Brady asks if there's a knack all can learn

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Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders