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BBC 38 Degrees

Poll uncovers widespread public scepticism of proposed BBC reforms

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 18, 2016 | 2 min read

A YouGov survey commissioned by campaigning organisation 38 Degrees to discern public attitudes toward the BBC has found that the over 60’s are most opposed to planned changes to the broadcaster’s charter.

The study found that a majority of the public still view the BBC as the most reliable and impartial broadcaster in the UK, with 62 per cent of over 60’s suspicious of the government’s reform intent – significantly higher than the 27 per cent who profess faith in minsters to do the right thing.

Overall 56 per cent put the BBC first for unbiased coverage versus 14 per cent for ITN News and 13 per cent apiece for Sky News and Channel 4 News.

Overall the survey found that 61 per cent of respondents feared the quality of British media would decline if commercial advertising were introduced at the BBC, versus just eight per cent who thought it would improve.

David Babbs, executive director at 38 Degrees, said: “The BBC is a national treasure. But its future is at risk. Any government that damages the BBC will be on the wrong side of the British public. John Whittingdale’s proposed reforms are going down like a lead balloon with key groups of target voters.”

Culture secretary John Whittingdale is in process of pushing through plans to abolish the BBC Trust and give the government power to appoint a new board of overseers for the BBC, sparking concern that this could precipitate a loss of political independence.

There has also been speculation that the BBC could be forced to allocate a portion of license fee revenues to other broadcasters to fund their own public service programming.

BBC 38 Degrees

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