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This article argues that BBC policy needs a change of emphasis. In the last two BBC Charter periods the emphasis has been on marketisation and market failure. The aim has been to harness market discipline to hold the BBC to account and ensure it does not chill investment. In an era of almost limitless choice, faltering democratic institutions, and new business models based on monetising data and attention, this approach is no longer appropriate. Whilst media users will always be able to choose not to consume BBC services, policy makers should accept that the BBC should be a permanent, privileged part of the communications landscape and enact reforms that reflect this. Policy should focus on overhauling and improving the ‘constitutional’ checks and balances of the BBC rather than accountability through the market. This requires new policies that actively facilitate new forms of accountability to citizens.

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Volume 95, Issue 1

Latest Journal Issue

Volume 95, Issue 1

Includes a collection on the Future of Public Service Broadcasting, edited by Suzanne Franks and Jean Seaton. This features articles such as 'The Governance of the BBC' by Diane Coyle; 'A Public Service Internet - Reclaiming the Public Service Mission' by Helen Jay; and 'BBC Funding: Much Ado about the Cost of a Coffee a Week' by Patrick Barwise. There are a wide range of other articles including 'Back to the Stone Age: Europe's Mainstream Right and Climate Change’ by Mitya Pearson and 'Labour, the Unions and Proportional Representation' by Cameron Rhys Herbert. Finally, there is a selection of book reviews such as Lyndsey Jenkins's review of Fighting For Life: The Twelve Battles that Made Our NHS and the Struggle for Its Future by Isabel Hardman, and Victoria Brittain's review of Three Worlds, Memoirs of an Arab-Jew by Avi Shlaim.

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