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Curate’s egg BBC has to get its act together

So, the British Government has backed down from breaking up the BBC. John Whittingdale, the Culture Secretary, who dubbed the licence fee “worse than the poll tax”, appears to have been overruled by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.

The BBC is surely the world’s best broadcasting organisation, as testified by its tally of trophies at the recent Baftas. Its news coverage, analysis and investigation is unparalleled, its documentaries and biographies have won numerous awards, its comprehensive coverage of music and the arts is second to none, and its comedies are often creative and adventurous.

The BBC — like the NHS — is also a major source of national pride.

Yet, the BBC is not perfect.

Its sycophancy towards the monarchy is annoying, as is its bias towards the Christian religion. It also tends to rely excessively on “authoritative opinion”.

Locally, too, while BBC1 Northern Ireland produces some excellent TV programmes, Radio Ulster suffers from the basic weakness of being a downmarket station that prefers pop to classical, business to philosophy and, worst of all, bear-pit political brawling to serious discussion and analysis. In short, Radio Ulster needs to become less like a philistine version of Radio 4. Why not be different and offer a regular slot for classical and world music?

Come on, BBC Northern Ireland: if you seriously want to educate, inform and entertain the people, then start treating them with a little more maturity and respect.


Humanist Association of Northern Ireland

Belfast Telegraph

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