November 8, 2013
The BBC is too big and too left wing and should lose some of its license fee, the Corporation’s former head of TV news has warned.
Roger Mosey claimed the BBC had wrongly kept critics of Brussels, benefits and immigration off the airwaves and veered to the left on many issues.
He said it would ‘enrich the nation’ if rival commercial broadcasters had access to some of the licence fee to take on the BBC’s dominance.
There has been growing pressure on the BBC over the £145.50, with 70 per cent of viewers saying they want it cut or abolished.
Tory ministers have warned it could be cut or opened up to other broadcasters if the BBC cannot repair the damage to its reputation caused by the Savile abuse scandal and huge pay-offs to senior managers.
Mr Mosey, who was head of BBC Television News and oversaw the BBC’s coverage of the London Olympics, said there should be a debate about how the next licence fee settlement ‘helps pluralism and diversity’.
Writing in The Times, Mr Mosey said that while the corporation faced widespread competition in network television, its market share of 70 per cent of all news consumption on both TV and radio was something that ‘even long-term loyalists find uncomfortable’.
He suggested that while the BBC’s stance of co-ordinating its editorial content across the organisation was a good thing, it can ‘lead to homogeneity’ and conformity.
Mr Mosey said: “On the BBC’s own admission, in recent years it did not, with the virtue of hindsight, give enough space to anti-immigration views or to EU-withdrawalists; and, though he may have exaggerated, the former Director-General Mark Thompson spoke of a ‘massive bias to the left’ in the BBC he joined more than 30 years ago.
‘I share Mark’s view that there was more internal political diversity in recent times, but that isn’t enough unless it’s evident in a wider range of editorial view on air.’