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BBC, Under Criticism, Struggles to Tighten Its Belt (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
The New York Times ^ | April 23, 2011 | Eric Pfanner and Sarah Lyall

Posted on 04/23/2011 4:49:02 AM PDT by abb

DAVID CAMERON, the British PM, was in Brussels meeting the press last October when he took a few moments to make fun of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

“Good to see that costs are being controlled everywhere,” Mr. Cameron said as he directed a mocking glance at three BBC correspondents, each from a different BBC program, covering his news conference.

“We’re all in this together,” Mr. Cameron said sarcastically, reciting his government’s favorite austerity slogan, and then added, “including, deliciously, the BBC.”

Why would the British premier celebrate the financial woes of the BBC? The corporation is the biggest, oldest and most revered public broadcasting company in the world, a centerpiece of the British brand, as essential to Britain’s view of itself as the National Health Service or the royal family.

The BBC’s news broadcasts, whether on the radio or on television, exude authority and command respect around the globe. The corporation has also made cultural contributions to Britain over the decades, through nurturing talent, sponsoring major musical events and broadcasting television shows like “I, Claudius,” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and “Fawlty Towers.” Britons call it, affectionately, the Beeb, and sometimes “Auntie,” for its traditional role as the last word on everything.

But despite that, or perhaps because of it, the BBC seems to be an all-purpose whipping boy, an easy target for casual joking and at times naked derision from the country’s political establishment.

As Mr. Cameron’s Conservative-led coalition government embarks on a grueling austerity program, it has accused the BBC of “extraordinary and outrageous waste.”

Much of the criticism has to do with the license fee of £145.50 (about $240) that is levied annually on British households with a television set. The fee brings in £3.6 billion a year, about 80 percent of the BBC’s total income.

snip

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: advertising; bbc; circulation; dbm; europeanunion; unitedkingdom
The British version of the "State-Run Media."
1 posted on 04/23/2011 4:49:04 AM PDT by abb
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To: 04-Bravo; 1cewolf; aimhigh; andyandval; Arizona Carolyn; Bahbah; bert; bilhosty; Caipirabob; ...

ping


2 posted on 04/23/2011 4:49:51 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

Why do we mock the BBC? Uh, because they’re a bunch of Israel-hating hard-left socialists and Marxists who extort $240 from every television set in the UK every year to ram their propaganda down the throats of the world?

On the other hand...commercial-free “Top Gear.” Hmm. Hard choice.

}:-)4


3 posted on 04/23/2011 4:54:39 AM PDT by Moose4 ("By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!")
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To: abb

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704071704576277400371477300.html
Harman’s Wife to Replace Him on Newsweek Daily Beast Board


4 posted on 04/23/2011 4:54:59 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

http://hlpronline.com/2011/04/wikileaks-the-first-amendment-and-the-press/
WikiLeaks, the First Amendment, and the Press

http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2011/04/21/is-wikileaks-a-media-organization-the-first-amendment-doesnt-care/
Is WikiLeaks A Media Organization? The First Amendment Doesn’t Care


5 posted on 04/23/2011 5:03:09 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb
Much of the criticism has to do with the license fee of £145.50 (about $240) that is levied annually on British households with a television set. The fee brings in £3.6 billion a year, about 80 percent of the BBC’s total income.

Think Obama would try that one here?
6 posted on 04/23/2011 5:05:32 AM PDT by GQuagmire (Hey now!)
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To: GQuagmire

Without doubt. They floated similar ideas a couple of years ago when several newspapers folded, but got their brains beat out in the Marketplace of Ideas.


7 posted on 04/23/2011 5:10:21 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Moose4

I think you’ve summed it up just perfectly.


8 posted on 04/23/2011 5:34:20 AM PDT by RightOnline
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To: abb
The corporation has also made cultural contributions to Britain over the decades, through nurturing talent, sponsoring major musical events and broadcasting television shows like “I, Claudius,” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and “Fawlty Towers.”

Programs from 30 years ago, it might be added.

9 posted on 04/23/2011 5:45:11 AM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; Delacon; ...

Thanks abb.
Why would the British premier celebrate the financial woes of the BBC? The corporation is the biggest, oldest and most revered public broadcasting company in the world, a centerpiece of the British brand, as essential to Britain's view of itself as the National Health Service or the royal family.
Maybe because David Cameron is the Prime Minister, not the Premier?


10 posted on 04/23/2011 5:56:47 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: abb
... the license fee of £145.50 (about $240) that is levied annually on British households with a television set

It's not a tax. Really. Even though you must pay it, or pay an expensive fine, or go to jail. You can't simply block out the channels, or buy a TV set which doesn't contain he channels in the tuner. Nope. You must pay the bloody fee or else. And no, it's not a tax.

I lived in Britain for for six years and had the above discussion every time a friend cringed over U.S. commercial television and in return I gigged him about their TV tax.

The corporation has also made cultural contributions to Britain over the decades, through nurturing talent, sponsoring major musical events and broadcasting television shows like “I, Claudius,” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and “Fawlty Towers.”

The Beeb has plenty of offsetting duds over the years. Think of a state run media with a massive budget that is trying to please a panel of bureaucrats and political appointees.

The Beeb doesn't grind out much quantity either. They would come on about 5.00 pm and sign off at around 10.00 pm seven days a week. Subtract the time for the news (national, of course; almost no local) and that's it. There were two channels when I lived there: BBC1 featured general entertainment and BBC2 featured "educational" material similar to PBS. Both were about 50 percent original content and 50 percent reruns. Furthermore, a significant portion (maybe 30 percent) of their "original content" consisted of licensed U.S. TV productions.

One other wrinkle: the Beeb would wrap up one program and start another at odd times such as 7.05 and 8.40. You needed to check the schedule if you were not constantly glued to the screen.

Mr. Cameron’s Conservative-led coalition government ... has accused the BBC of “extraordinary and outrageous waste.”

Based on what I saw during the time I lived there, I heartily agree.

11 posted on 04/23/2011 6:56:28 AM PDT by Zakeet (I know Obama is level headed because he drools out of both sides of his mouth at the same time)
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To: Zakeet

If you go back and read some history of early radio in the 20’s, the BBC model is what many of the “best and the brightest” had in mind for U. S. broadcasting. They felt the masses needed “culture” and “education” and that it needed to be force-fed to them via radio.

They had a conniption fit when advertising (first called ‘toll broadcasting’) hit the airwaves. Of course with advertising, ownership of the content was private and did not belong to government.

They’ve not gotten over that defeat to this day, and that is their ultimate goal.


12 posted on 04/23/2011 7:14:27 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb
Heck, these days, the only good thing the Beeb produces is its countdown leading into the news at the top of the hour.
13 posted on 04/23/2011 7:15:03 AM PDT by southernnorthcarolina ("Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own." -- Aesop)
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To: southernnorthcarolina
Heck, these days, the only good thing the Beeb produces is its countdown leading into the news at the top of the hour.

I'd like to know where can a get a long version of the instrumental piece they use for this countdown?

14 posted on 04/23/2011 9:34:29 AM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: RayChuang88
I'd like to know where can a get a long version of the instrumental piece they use for this countdown?

The music was composed by David Lowe, if that helps. You can go to YouTube, and type in "BBC countdown," and you'll see many versions, some by BBC, some remixes and extended versions by others.

Here is something released by BBC, titled BBC World: The Music, which is along the same lines as the countdown theme.

15 posted on 04/23/2011 12:24:20 PM PDT by southernnorthcarolina ("Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own." -- Aesop)
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To: abb

Jane Harman is worth about half a billion. She’s 65 years old and a widow. If she had any sense she would simply retire totally and enjoy her grandchildren and her golden years.


16 posted on 04/23/2011 12:44:34 PM PDT by MovementConservative (Go Mariners! 2012!)
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To: Moose4

And Dr Who episode LOL!


17 posted on 04/23/2011 6:03:03 PM PDT by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us ,resistance is futile")
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