In a post-truth world, there is a hankering to hear from a trusted voiceby Tony Hall / December 7, 2016 / Leave a comment
Published in January 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
This year the BBC’s audiences sent a clear signal about the kind of corporation they want. Nearly 200,000 made their voices heard in the public consultation on the renewal of our Royal Charter. The government described the response as “unprecedented,” second only to their consultation on gay marriage. The message was simple: the BBC’s public service mission—to inform, educate and entertain—is as pertinent today as it has ever been. Our audiences want us to do what we have always done best, but they want us to do it even better, and in new ways.
This is our challenge for the years ahead. And it comes at a moment when a strong, confident BBC has arguably never had a more important role to play for Britain—at home and around the world.
It is now approaching four years since I returned to the BBC as Director-General. Throughout the Charter renewal process, and with the essential support of our audiences and programme makers, we were able to make a strong case for the BBC. But first of all, we had to win the right to be heard.
We had to take a long look at our culture. The public’s faith in the corporation was profoundly shaken by the Savile enquiry. The BBC badly failed the survivors of abuse. Thanks to the challenging and important review by Janet Smith, we have the policies we need as safeguards for the future. And we continue to take every possible step to make the BBC more open and collaborative.