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Author Topic:  Lord Patten: Priority Is To Protect the World Service?  (Read 2245 times)

darcysarto

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13741210

This is a bit of an odd piece from the BBC News website:

Quote

Lord Patten has said his love of the BBC World Service made protecting it a "priority" - particularly the "core" Arabic, Somali and Hindi services.

The new BBC Trust chairman told the Sunday Telegraph he would fight for it as a 20% budget cut across the corporation takes effect this year.

The paper claimed he signalled in the interview that digital TV channels BBC3 or BBC4 may be axed to help secure it.

The BBC Trust denied this and said nothing had been decided.

The last Governor of Hong Kong told the paper: "If you want to know how good the BBC is, just spend time somewhere else.

'Goodwill'
 
"If you took anyone from any other country who comes here or listens to the World Service or looks at some of the BBC services, they think it's a fantastic organisation."

He said he planned to lobby Foreign Secretary William Hague over the government's funding of the World Service, which is due to end in 2014.

"I'm hoping that on Arabic services [we] will be able to protect that as something that is at the core of what the BBC is doing.

"I know what regard he [Hague] has for the World Service. I know he regards it as an important part of this country's soft power and I'm sure that with goodwill and without megaphones we'll be able to sort it out."

The BBC has to cut its spending by 20% - equivalent to 16% for the next five years in real terms - after last year's licence fee settlement.

While he admitted there would be tough choices ahead for the BBC, Lord Patten refused to talk about the merit of individual services.

"If I talk about individual services at this stage as not being a priority the assumption would be that that is a death sentence," he said.

But he said: "I think we're bound to face some tough decisions in the area of sport. It's extremely difficult for the BBC to bid for as many sports rights as it would like."

Lord Patten, a former Conservative Party chairman, confirmed he has asked for a longer term strategy for executive pay which, if existing targets are met, will have fallen by 25% by the end of this year.

He ruled out publishing individual stars' salaries, and said he would only reveal the number of employees in particular salary bands.

He also said that parents are best placed to enforce the 2100 watershed - pointing out that the dividing line should be easy to police but that it was up to parents to "get the balance right".

Newspaper reports have claimed that up to 1,500 jobs could be lost in BBC News alone.

But a BBC spokeswoman said: "We are not going to get drawn into a running commentary - no decisions have been taken and therefore these claims remain speculation.

"Any decisions coming out of the process would be subject to approval by the BBC Trust."


Tiger

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Re: Lord Patten: Priority Is To Protect the World Service?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 04:24:12 PM »
That is very encouraging that Chris Patten has said that he will try to protect the World Service. And refreshing to hear him say that the cuts should come from elsewhere and he sited management pay and digital TV.

NUJ says..



"The NUJ welcomes the commitment by Lord Patten to put a stop to the damaging cuts at the BBC World Service. We are pleased he has recognised the international protests against the cuts which echoed everything that BBC journalists have said about their concern for the service they provide.

"The continuing attacks on our members? jobs are a result of the continuing economic meltdown. The NUJ is determined to take all action necessary to defend the jobs of journalists and to protect the vital public service they provide."

The World Service is currently facing a 16 per cent funding cut over the next four years, as set out in last year's government spending review.

An agreement struck between the BBC and the coalition government will see the broadcaster take over the funding of the World Service from the foreign office in 2014.

It was announced in January that the proposed budget cuts would result in the loss of around 650 jobs at the service and the loss more than 30 million listeners.

It was also announced that five foreign-language services would be cut: Albanian, Macedonian, Portuguese for Africa and Serbian; as well as English for the Caribbean regional service.

BBC management says.."no comment"!!!

Tiger

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Re: Lord Patten: Priority Is To Protect the World Service?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2011, 06:39:53 PM »
Oh and Stephen Fry says about The World Service..


"The warm tones trickle out of Bush House(iconic place!) like honey from a jar: rich and resonant on the long and medium waves for domestic listeners or bright and sibilant on the short wave for a hundred million Anglophone citizens of the world for whose benefit the precious signal is bounced off the atmosphere from relay station to relay station..to arrive fresh and crackling"


From the Fry Chronicles.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 06:41:35 PM by Tiger »


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