Steven Barnett speaks to The Guardian about the government’s assault on BBC licence fee

17 January 2022
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On Sunday culture secretary Nadine Dorries tweeted that “this licence fee announcement will be the last“.

This barely veiled threat to the BBC and its funding was seen by many as part of the Conservative Government’s ongoing attacks on the institution – designed this time to distract from partygate and other government failings.

Responding to this latest round of attacks Steven Barnett spoke to the Guardian for an article by Polly Toynbee, pointing out that a government report praised the BBC and that its global reach is poised to “hit a weekly figure of half a billion people in its centenary year”.

Barnett who had long supported and defended the BBC is also a founding member of the British Broadcasting Challenge, a campaigning group set up in the wake of attacks on the BBC and Channel 4 in order to promote a wide-ranging discussion about the future of UK Public Service Broadcasting – its potential for good, its ability to transmit truth, its institutional place at the heart of the UK, and how it can be improved for the digital age. Barnett has also previously – along with Doug Specht – exposed the false-hoods behind the online #DefundtheBBC campaign.

Read the full article by Poly Toynbee on The Guardian’s website.

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