The Moral Maze

The Morality of Public Service Broadcasting

Episode 1 The Morality of Public Service Broadcasting

ADVERTISEMENT

Review

The BBC started life 90 years ago as a joint venture owned by six companies, but by 1927 it had become a non-commercial corporation with a public service broadcasting remit to “inform, educate and entertain.”

Does the BBC still need to fulfil a moral role as a modern broadcaster and how can it ensure that audiences get the most out of something they are obliged to fund through the licence fee? Has the BBC got the right balance between offering programmes that the commercial market will not or cannot provide and serving the widest possible audience?

Michael Portillo, Anne McElvoy, Claire Fox and Matthew Taylor debate these thorny issues live at the Cheltenham Literary Festival.

Summary

Michael Buerk chairs a debate on the purpose of the BBC, recorded at the Cheltenham Literary Festival to mark the corporation's 90th anniversary. Panellists Michael Portillo, Anne McElvoy, Claire Fox and Matthew Taylor consider whether a licence fee for all television viewers is still tenable, and if values are being sacrificed for the short-term demands of the market.
Current Affairs