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OPINION: Dyke Should Use BBC Review to Face Realities of a Digital Future

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: Dyke Should Use BBC Review to Face Realities of a Digital Future

Article excerpt

Very little fazes Greg Dyke. Even the embarrassing admission at the Hutton Inquiry that he had not read transcripts of the fateful Today programme until a month after the event did not seem to get to him.

And you can be absolutely sure of one thing - however severe Lord Hutton's verdict, the BBC director general will not consider resigning.

Yet if he has any sense at all, Dyke will pay very careful attention to the list of 24 questions put to the BBC as part of Charter Review.

They are of course the obvious questions anyone with a basic knowledge of the BBC would ask. In a multi-channel age, how is the BBC to be funded?

Should it be involved in commercial ventures, and if so, how can transparency and fairness be guaranteed? And should all the public service money go to the BBC?

Many of these questions have been around for a decade, but this time the answers may have changed, because the entire broadcasting environment has changed.

As culture secretary Tessa Jowell pointed out, when the BBC's present Royal Charter came in, there were no digital homes. But by the time the January sales are over, the total will have passed the 50% mark for the first time.

The 24 questions amount to a very stiff examination for the BBC and it will be in all sorts of trouble if it takes any of the answers for granted.

It is a clear case of the whole adding up to more than the sum of the parts.

Somehow Dyke and the BBC must produce a coherent view of the future of public-service broadcasting in a multi-channel age. …

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