The Future of Public broadcasting Essay

2178 WordsMay 13, 20089 Pages
INTRODUCTION Broadcasting, in general, may be organized under private enterprises, as in the USA, or may operate under a compromise system, as in Britain, where the television and radio services are controlled by the state. The BBC is a centralized corporation, where its governors are assigned by the state. Though it is responsible to the Parliament, its policy and programme content are not controlled by the state but by its Board of Governors. The BBC is the major public service broadcasting in the UK; it constitutes the top ranks of social and political life in the country. Since its foundation in 1927 as a public body under royal charter, it is committed to provide high quality news and current affairs, based on the principles of balance and impartiality. The BBC is financed by the sale of television viewing licences. Its activities are monitored by an agreement defined by the government. It is not allowed to carry advertisements but has a further income through the sales of its programmes. The BBC mainly operates on the licence fee paid by every household in the UK. The government indicates each year the amount of the licence fee. However, the total of the collected fees is not allotted to the BBC; the Treasury withholds part of it. As of April 2006, the fee is £131.50 for the colour TV, and £44 for the black-and-white TV. The elderly people, over 75s, are exempt from this and the blind people pay only 50% of it. However, every year, the licence fee is based on inflation rate level rises. There is public discontent regarding the continuous rise, and for sometime people started to question the viability of the TV licensing fee. Private broadcasters like Sky TV, NTL together with the Telewest, operate through subscription fees or pay-per-view basis, and provide the viewers, besides their packages, the basic BBC programmes. In result to this

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