As the BBC approaches its century in 2012, it has become a national institution but one under constant financial and political pressures. The 2015 licence fee settlement was concluded in just five days, the BBC charter is due for renewal in 2017. The clouds are dark on the horizon; the political vultures are circling. It has a national place – but how many friends in high places?
This comprehensive book examines the BBC's future from many angles. Is the licence fee sustainable in the long run? Is the size and scope of the BBC right? To what extent is the cloud of the Jimmy Savile scandal (and the abrupt resignation of the new director general) still hanging over the corporation? Does it properly reflect the nation(s)? Is the Beeb-bashing by the Right justified?
The cast list of authors includes past and present BBC chairs, former members of the BBC Trust, past senior executives of the corporation, the leading media commentators of the day, top academics, trade unionists and media activists. Jon Snow, Channel 4 News presenter, contributes a Preface.
The BBC Today is edited by Professor Richard Tait, former BBC trustee and editor-in-chief of ITN, Professor Richard Lance Keeble, author and editor of 30 texts on journalism and communication ethics, and John Mair, former BBC producer and university teacher. It is the latest in the Abramis 'journalistic/academic' series of 14 books dating back to 2007 and follows Tait, Keeble and Mair's Is the BBC in Crisis? (Abramis, 2014). On this, Professor Stewart Purvis, of City University London, commented in Television magazine: 'The book impresses most when it goes beyond the recent headline issues.'