The BBC deserves respect from the government of the day

Editorial: Freezing the licence fee will probably be a popular move but that does not mean it is right, either for the BBC itself or for the country as a whole

Sunday 16 January 2022 21:30
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<p>What the BBC needs is a thoughtful, helpful conversation about its future</p>

What the BBC needs is a thoughtful, helpful conversation about its future

The BBC is more important to the UK than the government of the day. That is why the plan by the current government to freeze the licence fee, and eventually scrap it in 2027, is a matter for the entire country. Indeed, given the importance of the BBC as a trusted news source – according to a survey by Ipsos Mori, it is the most trusted in the UK – any change to its funding should be approached with the greatest care.

It ranks high up in global terms, too. For example, last year it was ranked No 2 after the Associated Press in the AllSides ratings. So this is a matter of huge importance for the UK, but also a matter of importance for the world.

The current plan by the government has two elements that should be considered separately. Freezing the licence fee will probably be a popular move, but that does not mean it is right, either for the BBC itself or for the country as a whole.

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