The BBC’s recently released Annual Report demonstrates the corporation’s cultural clout not just in Britain but across the globe. The report reveals that BBC programs were viewed on an average of 250 million times a day and averaged by 90% of UK adults per week. The BBC is not just the home to a globally respected news channel but also to over a dozen radio stations, educational content, news, documentaries and more. Beyond this are the BBC’s prestige dramas with shows like Bodyguard, Line of Duty, and Vigil all attaining tens of millions of viewers and capturing the nation’s cultural zeitgeist. The irony of Tory MPs endlessly bleating about the mirage of ‘Global Britain’ whilst simultaneously taking a knife to one of our essential exports is lost on them. Outdated Thatcherite economic dogma threatens one of our country’s cultural treasures.
The BBC as an institution is far from perfect. Some of the criticisms claimed by Dorries are not wholly inaccurate: it is frequently out of touch and in desperate need of institutional reform. However Dorries’s criticisms have not got the BBC’s interests at heart. Dorries, like many of her Tory comrades, believe the BBC should be destroyed. The potential Fox News-ification of our media is a terrifying prospect. The absence of an institution like the BBC in the U.S. has heightened culture wars and reinforced political polarisation. The BBC provides globally respected news, award-winning entertainment, and insightful documentaries; it is undoubtedly good for Britain and should be protected.
Image Credit: Association of British Industry @Flickr.com