EBU calls on UK to protect independence & financing of BBC

bbcThe EBU has called on the UK government to guarantee the BBC’s independence and has expressed concern about recent discussion about the pubcaster’s future.

In a letter to UK culture, media and sport secretary John Whittingdale, EBU secretary-general Ingrid Deltenre said that “the BBC continues to set the standard across Europe” for public broadcasting and noted that the BBC iPlayer service had become “an international industry standard for delivering on-demand content”.

“The BBC, thanks to its broad and varied offer available on multiple platforms, strongly contributes to ensuring the universality of high level content and helps provide citizens with a diverse and healthy media diet, which is essential for their personal growth and enables them to play their role in a functioning democracy. It must remain committed to putting citizens first, free from political and commercial interests. Any changes to how the BBC is regulated, including its remit and funding model, must be conducted in the interests of guaranteeing the BBC’s independence,” said Deltenre.

She said that BBC continued to be “one of the most trusted sources of information, not only in the UK but worldwide”, and noted that it was the biggest content producer in the EBU, making a huge contribution to the creative economy.

Deltenre went to call on the government to ensure the BBC’s editorial independence and sustainable funding.

“The UK has always been regarded as a model for media policy across the world. The consultation and regulatory processes that support the BBC have inspired similar ones across Europe. We are concerned by some of the recent discussions and developments, which risk not only a negative impact on the organisation’s ability to serve citizens, but also on the entire media system, in the UK and across Europe,” she said.

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