Hunt in “tough discussions” about BBC cuts

It seems that Jeremy Hunt just can’t make his mind up about what he wants done with the BBC, after taking a swipe at the corporation and its “outrageous waste”.

While it has been expected that the Conservative secretary for culture will enforce a freeze on the licence fee come its renewal, it seems that Hunt is now seriously considering cutting the current cost of £145.50 a year.

Talking to the Daily Telegraph over the weekend, Hunt warned: “The BBC should not interpret the fact that we haven’t said anything about the way licence fee funds are used as an indication that we are happy about it.”

“There are huge numbers of things that need to be changed at the BBC. It needs to demonstrate the very constrained financial situation we are now in,” he added.

Recent figures aren’t going to help the BBC’s case either – director general Mark Thompson and the executive board’s total pay packet went up, and the number of BBC staff increased slightly.

It now looks like the BBC is going to have to tread carefully to avoid the sharp edge of Hunt’s newfound weapon – influence.

“There’s a moment when elected politicians have an opportunity to influence the BBC and it happens every five years. It is when the licence fee is renewed,” Hunt threatens.

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“Before we all sink into a slough of digital dystopian despair, it might be worth considering this: is this a sign of the strength, not weakness, of revelatory journalism in the digital age?”


Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the London School of Economics, reacts to news that the UK government forced the Guardian into destroying hard drives that contained information leaked by Edward Snowden.


(Source: POLIS)

 

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