Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hobbling rivals with transparency

The BBC is being fined £400k for the unfair way that it has managed phone-ins. This is, as has been remarked, a fine on licence fee payers, and this just isn't fair.

So should the fine be taken out of the well-stuffed pay-packets of the people who made the mistakes? You can find out whether people object to the principle of public service broadcasting by their answers.

If it is ....
a) It should be a rule that all broadcasters personally fine naughty programme-makers. The BBC should apply this rule in the same way that other broadcasters should be obliged to...

Then you can reasonably say that this is not - objectively - an anti-PSB position.

If it is ....
b) The BBC is a public corporation so we should apply vengeful rules to it's employees but we should leave the BBC's private sector rivals to make their own decisions

... then you are essentially saying that anyone with any sense should stop working for the BBC and go to work for it's rivals because they will find quiet sneaky ways to difuse their fines. This postition is profoundly anti-PSB.

If you call for a level of transparency for one body, but not for it's rivals, you are doing so because you wish to hobble that organisation.

Is this not obvious?

1 comment:

Tim Almond said...

If Sky get fined, it has an impact on the owners, who don't want to be poor, so they'll make sure that staff don't do this.

If the BBC get fined, it has no impact on management, and hence not on staff. OK, they have less money to make programmes, but even that doesn't matter. You still have to pay them to watch their competitors.