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The BBC is not the NHS

As support for the licence fee starts to fray, the BBC has come up with a new concept of "public value" which places it in the same category as public services like health and education. But it isn't

By Barry Cox   August 2004

In June, the BBC published the report “Building public value,” laying out a case for the renewal of its status and funding as its contribution to the government’s review of the royal charter and the licence fee. Decisions about both have to be made by 2006. Central to this defence is a new concept of “public value,” both as justification for the existence of the BBC in its current form and as a series of tests which could be used to monitor the BBC’s performance.

Much intellectual effort has gone into defining this concept, and elaborating its relevance to the…

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