The Bishop of Leeds, Reverend Nick Baines, warned against the “ideological impulse to belittle” the BBC.
He was speaking Thursday last week during a debate in the House of Lords on a motion by Lord Foster of Bath: “Let this House take note of the future of public broadcasting in the centennial year of the British Broadcasting Corporation” (TV, Radio , October 28).
The UK was a “world leader” in public broadcasting service (PSB), Bishop Baines said. The BBC’s centenary and Channel 4’s 40th birthday should push people to “evaluate the value of what we have and resist the ideological urge to belittle it.”
He continued: “Imagine a world without it. That is, imagine a world where broadcasting serves only narrow cultural or political interests and is subject only to commercial or transactional persuasion. I could put it this way: Watch broadcasts in the United States. Price does not equal value “.
Bishop Baines acknowledged that technology is changing the broadcast landscape, but said that “principles remain which, if overlooked or sold down the river to the highest bidder, will sell our culture in the open – and not just that of the UK. but that of the global audience who rely on the BBC for accuracy and integrity. “
The Bishop also acknowledged that “young people access the BBC less than ever”, but asked: “This does not underline the need to reach them more effectively with the PSB rather than limiting their resources according to a numerical equation that takes little account. power that can’t be cashed in a profit and loss spreadsheet?
“If the PSB is reduced as a source of public funding. . . what does this say about encouraging and nurturing a new and younger generation of journalists and programmers who need to embody cultural values, not just technical skills? Does the government appreciate the BBC’s fact-checking credibility in a world awash with disinformation, with a serious impact on truth, democracy and culture?
Lord Parkinson, responding to the debate for the government, said: “The need for public service broadcasting in this country is stronger than ever.” He went on to say, however, that “the cost of the rent will remain fixed at £ 159 until April 2024, before increasing in line with inflation until April 2028”.
He continued: “We believe this is a fair deal, striking the right balance between protecting families and allowing the BBC to carry out its vital public responsibilities, while encouraging it to realize further savings, efficiencies and innovations.”