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Allister Heath urges BBC “Ditch the licence fee and compete for audiences”

Allister Heath is a widely renowned commentator on the UK and European economies. Writing for The Telegraph, Allister Heath argues the impact of the licence fee on the future of the BCC.

Health explains that the BBC could enjoy a great future selling British programming all over the world, if they were to embrace a radical change. During a time of digital disruption, and unprecedented consumer sovereignty, “a taxpayer- financed BBC will inevitably face ever greater scrutiny.”

The answer is to “reform and unleash it, while making sure that it no longer competes unfairly against its commercial rivals. There is no reason why a reinvigorated, liberated corporation couldn’t take on and beat the likes of Netflix, the US giant, helping to reinvent content for the digital age and conquering the world.”

Heath shares the reforms he believes are necessary, first, the BBC license fee must be replaced by a voluntary subscription model, second, the BBC should become a membership-owned mutual. Third, the government would decide what types of TV programmes, if any, it wants to encourage, and subsidize, and finally, radio programming would remain as a free service for everyone, which would be financed from the membership fee, in return, the BBC would not be required to pay any UK corporation tax as a not for profit mutual.

He concedes that the “BBC should not be scared of moving towards a voluntary model of that sort that governs every other business: it is the only way for it to regain legitimacy. By getting rid of the licence fee, the BBC and the rest of the media would be on a level playing field; and given that it’s revenues would no longer be public money, the BBC would be able to spend it’s cash as it likes.”

Click here to read the full article.


BBC’s top international news correspondents look ahead to the major geopolitical developments in 2015

BBC Radio 4’s annual prediction fest, moderated by veteran political journalist Mark Mardell, looks ahead to the major geopolitical developments in 2015.

Trying to guess what disruptions might be in store on the global stage is certainly a risky game; after all, no-one last year saw the rise of the Islamic State, the annexation of Crimea or the Ebola outbreak. Nonetheless, Mark invites the BBC’s top international news correspondents to discuss the major news stories to come in 2015, the people to watch out for, and the elements that will shape the year ahead.

He is joined by chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet, China editor Carrie Gracie, business editor Kamal Ahmed and diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall.

What will happen in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine – and how will it affect the rest of us in Europe? Will Britain and other Western nations succeed in stopping the advance of the group calling itself Islamic State – and which other countries’ help will they need to obtain? What are the prospects for the global economy? And how will China flex its muscles on the international stage?

Click here to listen to the episode.

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Julia Hobsbawm on the BBC Andrew Marr Show

Over the weekend Julia Hobsbawm, CEO of Editorial Intelligence, stopped by the BBC’s Andrew Marr show to review the Sunday newspapers.

In discussion with Fraser Nelson and Jeremy Vine, they went through the hot issues in the British papers today. Scandels in the National Health Service, controversy over political party funding, modern day slavery, UNICEF goodwill ambassadors, cures for Cancer, the British response to Syria, JK Rowling’s latest novel and the way Feminists are using digital technology to track everyday Misogyny.

A whistle-stop tour of the talking points that started the British week.

If you live in the UK you can see the discussion and watch Julia in action via the iplayer link below.
BBC- The Andrew Marr Show

Mark Carney’s first week: Press roundup

As Mark Carney enters his first week as Governor of the Bank of England, the British Media have offered a range of opinions on the man and the challenges ahead of him.

Stephanie Flanders writing for the BBC discusses the challenges ahead but suggests he has the good fortune of taking on an economy apparently in upswing.

Harriet Dennys of the Independent is more cautious highlighting the large cost of BoE’s new governor that will doubtless add to the weight of expectation upon him.

In the FT, Robin Wigglesworth and Alice Ross give the view from the investment community as they prepare for incoming policy shifts.

The Guardian’s Aditya Chakrabortty strikes the most suspicious tone, highlighting his close links to the financial service sector and questioning if Rockstar Appointments should be the tone for such a central role.


BBC: The challenge ahead for Mark Carney- Stephanie Flanders

Telegraph: Tube-travelling BoE Governor Mark Carney to spend £250,000 housing allowance in West Hampstead – Harriet Dennys

FT: Investors calculate impact of Mark Carney policy shake-up – Robin Wigglesworth and Alice Ross

Guardian: Mark Carney is hailed as a savior – but what do we really know about him? – Aditya Chakrabortty



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