Mark Thompson’s vigorous defence of the BBC’s role and contribution to broadcasting marks the first skirmish in the build up to re-evaluating the licence fee and the role of the corporation. It’s a fight that comes round every few years and which the BBC usually wins. This time, however, things could be different – and they certainly should be.
The amazing transformation in broadcasting technology and output in recent years makes it increasingly impossible to intellectually defend the BBC’s extraordinarily privileged position. The explicit aim should be to radically reduce the BBC’s broadcasting remit with the intention of abolishing the licence fee altogether in the not too distant future.