Yesterday I spoke in the Westminster Hall debate on the BBC.

While majority of the discussion focused on the right to free TV licences for the over 75’s, I wanted to focus my attentions on the bias and eroding impartiality of the BBC.

Some people in the debate (both directly and indirectly) argued that they wanted to see a BBC that is even more right-wing, even more vulnerable to governmental pressure, even less economically literate in its reporting. Others raised the question as to whether the BBC should exist at all.

Sadly, I know of people (on the left) who are so disillusioned with the BBC, that they have given up on it altogether.

I fundamentally believe that all of these reactions are a mistake.

There are serious problems with the BBC which cannot be ignored – from increasing government control of the broadcaster, to its over-representation of Conservative and Eurosceptic views, to the domination of privately educated, Oxbridge graduates across all areas of the BBC.

But I think that most of these issues can be resolved by making the BBC genuinely independent of governments – of the left or the right – and accountable not to a narrow elite, but to its own staff and to the communities it should represent.

The left has always been a friend to the BBC, and should remain so, but securing a public and democratic media system with the BBC at its heart will require radical change.

Clive speaking in the Westminster Hall debate on the BBC
Clive speaking in the Westminster Hall debate on the BBC
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