National Media Trust.

RDN suggests we should scrap the BBC and proposes the NMT as a new voluntary movement which would fund informed debate and any other media material the literate, affluent, bossy middle class fancy was suffering from "market failure".

Filson Young: BBC pioneer

This is an account of some parts of Shall I Listen? of 1933. It was the penultimate book by Filson Young (1876-1936). He was a BBC pioneer with instincts about the future of broadcasting which foreshadow the podcast age. He was a snob who disparaged Reithian London-centricity. He was a Londoner who invented a new style of outside broadcasting from a Cornish village. Read more...


14 March 2023

“Scrap the BBC!”, 2020

In 2007 I wrote "Scrap the BBC!" for the Social Affairs Unit. It was subtitled, "10 years to set broadcasters free". Well, that didn't happen. The next big though interim discussion about the Corporation's future is set for 2022, preparatory for a new charter in 2027. What are the odds of major change within ten years?

I wouldn't bet on it, not with my record. Anyway, a much bigger set of questions arises. How are we to handle the new world of media? Read more...


22 January 2020

“Scrap the BBC!” (2016) on BBC radio

This month saw the publication of the 2016 government White Paper on the BBC which as part of the 2016 Charter renewal process, will set the purposes, funding and governance of the state broadcaster for eleven years. I was wheeled out on Radio 5 Live and a couple of BBC Radio Scotland shows to defend my view that the BBC ought to be got rid of. Almost all the arguments I used in my book, "Scrap the BBC!": Ten years to set broadacsters free in 2007 seem germane now. The book's main fault was in supposing that by now, 2016, we would be further ahead in freeing ourselves of fear of losing the BBC. Indeed, the White Paper is at the very most merely a small step toward a reduced, let alone an abolished BBC. In one matter, the appetite to be rid of the flat, 12-month licence fee, I have better evidence than I did in 2007. It is an area, see below, in which I have a bit of a beef with Steve Hewlett, the country's leading media guru. Read more...


17 May 2016

RDN on BBC Scotland: “Scrap the BBC!”

I had quite an interesting outing on BBC Radio Scotland's Call Kaye phone-in show on the BBC's charter review which begins in earnest today. I argued as usual for the "nuclear option" of getting rid of this antiquated institution. Read more...


16 July 2015
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