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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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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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robgf

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Perhaps switching the BBC to a subscription service, rather than the license fee would focus their minds. If they had to compete for viewers they would produce better content.

This would also solve the morally wrong act, of forcing people who do not watch their channel, to pay for the content. Let those who watch pay.

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morddwyd

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The basic trouble at the BBC is illustrated by the appointment of a detergent marketing man as the new DG.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20285096

He might be competent, but they are not known for accuracy!

They might have done better to appoint a broadcaster, or at least a half competent journalist.

They might also have taken a bit longer to look around.

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robgf

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FM

I disagree, a bit of competition would do the BBC the power of good. At the moment they have a guaranteed income and complacently churn out any rubbish. If they had subscribers they would have someone to answer to.

When you consider they have a yearly income of around 5 billion, they should do much better than Downton Abbey and a few Attenborough documentaries. Their news used to be good, I watched it every morning. But it's more like a chat show now, easily beaten for content, by Sky, Russian news etc.

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spuds

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Talking about the cost of the BBC licence fee, I notice that the licence people are reminding the over 75's, and those entitled to free licences to make sure that they are receiving said free licences.

I could be wrong, but I still cannot understand how a person over 75 can get a free licence, and at the same time other under 75's can have the advantage of free access to telecommunication equipment, if they live in the same home, using the free licence issued to those entitled on a age factor.

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bremner

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robgf

Downton Abbey is on ITV1

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robgf

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bremner

Lol, shows how much telly I watch, I thought it was on BBC.

FM It's true that I don't watch much BBC nowadays, I try the odd thing that might be of interest, but there isn't much to my taste. And I do think that I shouldn't have to pay, if I don't watch. After all, how would you feel if Sky insisted you pay for their service, whether you received it, or not. It's exactly the same.

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robgf

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FM

I also pay tax for education, despite having no children. But I consider the tax to be payment for the education I received.

The BBC is an entertainment channel, with a small educational content, hardly the same thing.

However I am happy for you to pay for the BBC ;)

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