Democratise the BBC

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For generations, the BBC's News and political programming has served as a mouthpiece for successive British governments. This has been possible as it is Ministers who determine the rate of the licence fee, approve any changes to the charter and select their preferred candidates for the BBC Board. This has eroded creativity in entertainment, as well as journalistic freedom. Moreover, this has led to political bias and has further undermined trust in the BBC. 

As a public service broadcaster, the BBC is funded principally by an annual TV licence fee which is charged to all British households and organisations receiving BBC broadcasts. Yet, the licence fee payer has little to no influence over the governance of the BBC which, by Royal Charter operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

We want to see government influence over the BBC brought to an end and democratisation of the broadcaster brought in. Those who fund the BBC — the licence fee payers — should rightfully determine who sits on the Board. The BBC already has a sign-in requirement for digital users, so digital democratic accountability could be achieved at little cost.