Letter: BBC in Parliament

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The Independent Online
TO SUGGEST (leading article, 28 February) that Radio 4's controller, James Boyle, wants to "shunt off" Yesterday in Parliament because it is "boring" is wrong. James Boyle has already made clear that it is his intention to give more choice to Radio 4 listeners. This can be achieved by using long wave - the frequency which is universally available to almost every home in the United Kingdom.

You are right to stress that covering Parliament is part of the BBC's public service remit. We welcome that. But the real public service challenge is to engage new audiences in what is going on in Parliament. That is why we have spent many months talking to viewers and listeners about how best we can do it.

The result is an ambitious set of proposals which will strengthen our public service remit in relation to Parliament - with more air time and some fresh formats. The highlights include a new parliamentary programme on BBC 2 and a new service on the Internet, to be launched in the spring, which will give access to debates in audio, text and eventually video too. Taken together, this breadth of services, on television, on radio and online, represents an unrivalled commitment to reporting the democratic process.

TONY HALL

Chief Executive

BBC News

London W12

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