Some BBC cuts make sense but no need to overdo it

The niggardly Times view of impending BBC cuts is largely self -serving although they’ll deny it. The idea that selling off Radio 1 and closing BBC3 could produce cuts in the licence fee is absurd. Almost all content on BBC3 and 4 is repeated on the main channels and is then commercially versioned for channels like Dave. Cutting services hardly adds value for money, particularly those which the mass of younger licence fee payers enjoy and pay for. The BBC is a victim of its own success, although some high profile mistakes like ridiculously excessive pay have been a gift to critics. A pruned BBC website could actually improve it. Adds Following a comment below I’ve slightly reworded this to make clear that the news sites aren’t among those being cut. But the core BBC News site itself is an overrated headline service largely redeemed by the specialist blogs. It doesn’t compare with many of the developing and still largely free newspaper sites. The plan to provide new highly visible links from the BBC site to other local news providers should boost hard pressed local reporting at a crucial time. Provided that is, the local press take inspiration from new BBC initiatives like Democracy Live and revive textual reporting of local affairs.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

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