WHAT IS THE BBC FOR?
More accurately what is the licence fee for? There is disquiet about its latest scheme, which is to launch a politics and news weekly magazine that would clearly compete with existing titles such as Newsweek, The Spectator etc.
The BBC has used the licence fee to set up one of Europe's dominant internet sites; it has a string of lifestyle magazines and now it seems set to go into news publishing. The BBC seems to have no sense of the damage it is causing to the commercial sector or of what might be the appropriate limit to its ambition. Supposing the BBC were to set up a national daily newspaper? Would that be considered OK? And suppose it were to deliver it free of charge into every home in the country? Should it be allowed to do so, regardless of the effect on other publishers? That, effectively, is what it has done in the online news sector.