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Future of BBC up in the air

Future of BBC up in the air
Highlights

Britain-'s newly-elected Conservative government signalled on Thursday that it would cut back the BBC, the opening salvo in a battle over the future...

London: Britain's newly-elected Conservative government signalled on Thursday that it would cut back the BBC, the opening salvo in a battle over the future of the world's biggest public service broadcaster. Any attempt to change the 92-year-old broadcaster provokes a fierce reaction in Britain, where it claims a unique cultural status from its role in showing everything from royal weddings and sports events to local news and popular dramas.


Setting out proposals for the biggest overhaul of the BBC in at least a decade, the government said changes in viewing habits meant the current scale, scope and funding of the corporation may no longer be appropriate. "With so much more choice in what to consume and how to consume it, we must at least question whether the BBC should try to be all things to all people," Media Secretary John Whittingdale told parliament.


Supporters of the BBC say it is a prized national institution that projects British culture around the world while providing essential domestic and international news. But opponents as diverse as Scottish nationalists, media tycoons and some in Prime Minister David Cameron's government say the BBC is a bloated organisation that throttles commercial competition and fails to properly balance its news coverage.


"We believe that this Green Paper would appear to herald a much diminished, less popular BBC," the corporation said of the government's consultation document. "That would be bad for Britain and would not be the BBC that the public has known and loved for over 90 years."

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