Monday 8 December 2008

'It was the public wot won it,' says BBC trustee

So it wasn't the frantic lobbying by the Newspaper Society and the likes of Trinity Mirror chief Sly Bailey that influenced the BBC Trust to block plans to beef up the BBC's websites with video reports. It was the public.
In a letter to MediaGuardian today, Diane Coyle, BBC trustee and chair of the Public Value and Fair Trading Committee, disputes claims made last week by Bectu's Mark Scrimshaw that the BBC Trust was "beholden to commercial interests".
She says of the decision to instruct BBC management to drop plans for a broadband local video service: "The major reason for our decision was the evidence that such a service would not meet the demand for better local news. The public mainly want this news on radio and TV, not via the internet, and we have asked BBC management to bring forward new proposals to meet that demand. In reaching our decision we, of course, took account of representations from existing local media providers, and gave them appropriate weight - as the BBC Charter instructs us to do - but it was the views of the public that carried the day."

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