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13 May 2016 - British government announces major overhaul of BBC

Publié par Marion Coste le 13/05/2016
Britain Plans to Tighten Oversight of the BBC in New Charter
Steven Erlanger (The LNew York Times, 12/05/2016)


The British government presented its plans for the future of the British Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday, urging the publicly funded broadcaster to be more “distinctive” in its programming, while transforming and consolidating how the BBC is governed.
The government, preoccupied by a coming referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union and wary of further fights with Parliament, pulled back from radical changes like influencing BBC programming, though the changes in how the BBC is overseen are a delicate topic, given its strong tradition of editorial independence.
In a move that seemed intended to assuage concerns about political interference, the new charter for the BBC would take effect in January and last 11 years, instead of the current 10, so that the cycle for renewing it will not coincide with the five-year national election cycle.

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Negotiations

Cameron's intervention ends wrangling over BBC's future
Jane Martinson (The Guardian, 12/05/2016)
After weeks of negotiations described as “bloody” and like “hand-to-hand combat” by BBC insiders, it took a personal intervention by the prime minister to end the wrangling over the contents of the white paper on the future of the broadcaster.
It was after the culture secretary, John Whittingdale, presented the white paper to cabinet on Tuesday that David Cameron instructed his department to triple the level of pay subject to new disclosure rules from £150,000 to £450,000. In doing so, he eased BBC concerns over the impact on most of its best-known news presenters, who might otherwise have been forced to defend their salaries on air.
Stars’ pay had emerged as an issue in the negotiations a week ago; it was the latest sticking point in a gruelling 10-month negotiation described by BBC insiders as like playing a game of “whack-a-mole”. One “exhausted” BBC insider said: “At the end of a good conversation, something unacceptable we thought had been dealt with was lobbed back in.”

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White Paper

We at the BBC must never be complacent
Tony Hall (The Telegraph, 12/05/2016)
The debate leading up to the publication of the Government’s White Paper on the BBC has been dominated by noise and uncertainty, speculation and concern. But we needed to have the debate. The BBC spends public money; all the difficult questions must be weighed up.
Now that we are at the end of that long process, an important point of clarity and consensus has emerged. Everyone – from committees of MPs and peers to commercial competitors, from Bafta-winning artists to the great British public – agrees on one thing: that the BBC of the future should continue to do what it has always done best. The BBC should carry on delivering the world-class, critically acclaimed programmes that audiences love – like Wolf Hall and War and Peace which, as their creators have told me, would not exist without the BBC.
The BBC must maintain those radio services that are unequalled anywhere in the world.

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Key Points

BBC white paper: key points at a glance
John Plunkett (The Guardian, 12/05/2016)
Culture secretary John Whittingdale unveiled his long-awaited white paper on the future of the BBC on Thursday, setting out what sort of programmes it should make and how they will be funded.
Along with greater transparency about star salaries and a greater commitment to diversity, the government demanded more distinctiveness on BBC1, Radio 1 and Radio 2, and raised the prospect of the first BBC pay-TV subscription services in the UK
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"13 May 2016 - British government announces major overhaul of BBC", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), mai 2016. Consulté le 17/05/2021. URL: http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2016/13-may-2016-british-government-announces-major-overhaul-of-bbc