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BBC Licence Fee


flycatcher1

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Some years ago I took part in "Any Questions". I asked if the BBC Licence Fee was past its sell-by date? Gerald Kaufman was on the Team and I well knew his antipathy to the Licence Fee.

His arguments did not convince me and, in the past, I always trusted the good old BBC. During World Wide travels the BBC World Service always provide a reliable update of world events with little UK slant.

As the years have passed I have come to look upon the BBC less favourably, exorbitanttant salaries, expenses and perks together with variable programming has made me think that it is time for a change.

If a cost reduced BBC was paid for by general taxation the poorer people would save money and the expense added to the richer people, even the Oldies like me.

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Bing.alau

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What is going to happen if it is discovered that other influential presenters were playing the same games as Jimmy Saville? It would knock dear old "Aunty" for six I suppose.

I no longer pay toward the licence fee, but I feel that when I was paying it a big lump of it went toward keeping Mr Saville in a life of luxury. I am not happy about that and if there are more slugs and weevils under the roof of Broadcasting House I am going to feel even more angry.

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Forum Editor

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Bing.alau

I think your post expresses a view that is shared by an awful lot of people.

That said, I believe we need to be careful to avoid falling into the trap of thinking that because one aspect of BBC management failed it means the whole corporation is rotten. Most (but not all) of the incidents that have emerged took place a long time ago, and it's very difficult for us to understand how different the culture in the industry was at that time. It doesn't mean that Savile's abuses of young people were any less of a crime, and it doesn't exonerate the people who turned a blind eye.

What it does, this knowledge of a different culture, is perhaps make it easier to understand what motivated those who kept quiet when Savile was an influential and popular TV and radio character, for fear of risking their jobs and their reputations.

We're seeing it all with the benefit of hindsight, but I know someone who was working in the pop music industry at the time, and she says 'things were very different in those days'.

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amonra

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I wish all the people who constantly criticise the BBC and call for its abolishment could go on a short trip around the world and compare the standards of broadcasting in most of the countries. I admit, the BBC has its faults, its leadership leaves a lot to be desired, but on the whole the quality and variety of its programs are FAR superior to the rubbish that is broadcast anywhere else. I have been fortunate enough to view most of the offerings in europe and north america from the technical aspect and I am constantly amazed as to how people can watch such poor quality endless dribble constantly interupted by mindless advertising. Please, please, think twice before condemning this organisation to the waste-bin. You wont know how good it is till its gone ! Rant over.

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heymin

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Hi, I'd like to echo the sentiments expressed by amonra. My regional radio station, radio 4 and the T.V. news channel alone are worth the £3 per week. Everything else is a bonus (well, many things at least).

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finerty

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So what now for the BBC do they still build and sell B/W tv sets

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Condom

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As someone who does roam the world I know only too well the various levels of TV programs many have to put up with. Most of the service packages here in Thailand now do not provide a BBC service and the main reason as I understand it was that most of what they showed on the news was US stuff, a comment I entirely agree with. I used to sit down to watch the BBC news and yet you never actually got any UK news.

Al Jazerrra (Excuse my spelling if it's wrong) provides a much better range of news and channel providers now seem to have gone with them which is a telling indictment. Same story in Vietnam and Laos.

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flycatcher1

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I see that the Good Old BBC is not what it is cracked up to be. Fred Karno's Army is brought to mind.

All those highly paid bureaucrats and not one of them asked the most basic question before blundering on air.

Dare I suggest a bit of political bias - surely not at the BBC.

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Forum Editor

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But, we shouldn't get too caught up in the inevitable campaigns, from very interested parties, for the BBC to be broken-up and emasculated by over-regulation.

I couldn't agree more. There's a tendency for people to think that the answer to almost everything is to regulate more. There are cases where regulation can work to reassure the public, but the BBC isn't one of them in this context.

What's required at the BBC is a new ethos, one that demands the very highest standards from its news and current affairs reporters, and from production staff. It used to be that way, and as a result the BBC built an international reputation for being the voice that could be relied on where news reporting was concerned. It isn't like that any more.

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flycatcher1

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FE I agree, whole heartily, with your last paragraph.

fourm member The question is obvious and was detailed by a previous Newsnight Editor on Newsnight last night.

You have a witness who accuses another person of misdoing. Anyone with a modicum of sense would check the facts, a photograph and car ownership checks would have proved that the witness was wrong. Why just believe one witness?

In a previous employment I carried out Summaries of Evidence, Courts of Inquiry and Unit inquiries. I attended Courts Martial as a witness a couple of times and was nearly the Accused on a two occasions. In the latter cases common sense prevailed. The one thing that I was taught and soon learned that facts matter and not accusations.

My point about bureaucrats relates to the chain of command in the BBC. Many seem to have titles - such as Editor-in-Chief, and many more expression of control but appear to have no responsibilities when things go wrong.

For example one high-up was casually told about the Saville affair at a Christmas Party. Good management control that !

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morddwyd

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"It used to be that way, and as a result the BBC built an international reputation for being the voice that could be relied on where news reporting was concerned. It isn't like that any more."

And it never will be again as long as the BBC sees its primary function as chasing audience figures, like commercial channels.

It is a public service broadcaster, a normally very good one, and while it has a duty to produce quality, it has no need to compete for audience figures of millions.

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