Thursday, December 03, 2015

Love it or lose it, save the BBC

Stars Katy Manning and Spohie Aldred join the protest
by New Worker correspondent

THE NATIONAL Union of Journalists (NUJ) has thrown its weight behind the campaign: “Love it or lose it – save the BBC”, along with other broadcasting unions Bectu, Equity and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB).
And on Monday 23rd November  all these unions, along with a selection of stars from Doctor Who and the National Pensioners’ Convention, were out in force with banners to protest outside the BBC at Portland Place against threats to force the BBC to become a commercial service or go under.
The BBC has in recent years come under heavy criticism for its biased news reporting on issues like Palestine, the DPR Korea and Ukraine.
This follows Government pressure and threats to cut funding from the licence fee.
But it has alienated many on the left who would otherwise have campaigned more vigorously to save the BBC.
Despite all its faults it is still a much superior service to most of the major channels in the United States and Europe, and this is because it is independent of pressure from big business.
Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the NUJ, said: "What makes the BBC special? It may be your local radio station; the breadth of news and current affairs on TV, the radio or online whenever you want it; or the Proms; or that parental inward sigh of relief that often accompanies CBeebies.
"Others may prefer EastEnders, Natural World, hard-hitting dramas, the amazing World Service, comedy, sports coverage, or simply the innovation that is the iPlayer.
“We can all think of something we absolutely love about the BBC and would miss hugely if it wasn't there tomorrow.
"But the reality is that all of this is under threat. The year-on-year cuts and endless salami slicing since the last licence fee settlement have squarely compromised grassroots programming and journalism.
"We need to fight to protect the BBC. Without a meaningful rise in the licence fee, we may not have a BBC to fight for in five or 10 years' time. The status quo is not an option."

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