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Television PolicyThe MacTaggart Lectures$
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Bob Franklin

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748617173

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617173.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 01 March 2021

The Future of the BBC

The Future of the BBC

The James MacTaggart Lecture 1992

(p.157) The Future of the BBC
Television Policy

Michael Grade

Edinburgh University Press

In this lecture, the author, chairman of the BBC Board of Governors after 2004, analyses the finances, management and programming of the BBC following a period of robust clashes with the Thatcher government and in the run-up to the Charter renewal in 1994. He argues for the significance of programme quality and standards at the BBC for the wider broadcasting industry, claiming that ‘it is the BBC which keeps us all honest’. The author identifies a number of key problems confronting the BBC. In-house management at the BBC has adopted a ‘sort of pseudo Leninist style’ which relies on ‘central control’ and promises the spectre of ‘editorial dictatorship’. The author concludes that the BBC Governors cannot be both managers and regulators, and consequently advocates a single new regulatory body — the British Television Commission — for all television services. Moreover, the BBC has become preoccupied with cuts, savings and making money rather than programmes. Finally, there is a the problem of the licence fee which empowers governments against Governors and can encourage the latter towards political compliance.

Keywords:   BBC, finances, management, broadcasting, Board of Governors, British Television Commission, licence fee, quality, standards

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