UK's Johnson lines up two critics of BBC for big media roles - Times

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to appoint two Brexit-backing critics of the BBC to important roles in the media, including one as chairman of the publicly owned broadcaster itself, the Times reported on Saturday. The newspaper said Johnson had asked Charles Moore, a former editor of the Daily Telegraph, to become the chairman of the BBC and wanted Paul Dacre, a former editor of the Daily Mail, to be chairman of media regulator Ofcom. The BBC is entering a crucial period in its history, with some lawmakers attacking its universal funding model and online giants Netflix and Amazon posing a new threat

Reuters September 27, 2020 04:10:59 IST
UK's Johnson lines up two critics of BBC for big media roles - Times

UKs Johnson lines up two critics of BBC for big media roles  Times

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to appoint two Brexit-backing critics of the BBC to important roles in the media, including one as chairman of the publicly owned broadcaster itself, the Times reported on Saturday.

The newspaper said Johnson had asked Charles Moore, a former editor of the Daily Telegraph, to become the chairman of the BBC and wanted Paul Dacre, a former editor of the Daily Mail, to be chairman of media regulator Ofcom.

The BBC is entering a crucial period in its history, with some lawmakers attacking its universal funding model and online giants Netflix and Amazon posing a new threat.

"This is part of a process of the prime minister putting allies in key positions," the newspaper quoted one source close to Johnson as saying.

Applications for the roles are due to open shortly. Of the BBC position, a spokeswoman for the Department of Media said: "It is an open recruitment process and all public appointments are subject to a robust and fair selection criteria."

The spokeswoman had no comment about the Ofcom role.

Moore and Dacre both led right-wing dailies and have accused the BBC of a left-wing bias and a willingness to go beyond its core remit of providing public service broadcasting. The BBC has denied the criticism.

The BBC is widely respected globally but it has clashed with members of Johnson's governing Conservative Party who accuse it of being out of touch with the country, particularly over Britain's departure from the European Union.

With critics circling, its new director general, Tim Davie, has told staff they should not air their own political views on social media and staff should not expect any further expansion.

Johnson, a former journalist with the Telegraph, has questioned why the BBC should continue to be supported by an annual fee paid by all viewing households.

The BBC's television, radio and online content reaches 92% of the population, and its news and programmes, such as sci-fi drama "Doctor Who" and natural history documentaries pioneered by David Attenborough, have shaped Britain's culture.

It argues that the licence fee allows it to deliver hard-hitting news and entertainment while remaining independent from the state. The broadcaster has secured the income until 2027 when its charter expires.

Ofcom regulates the British media industry, including the BBC, to ensure they provide impartial news.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Timothy Heritage; Editing by Alison Williams)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Guinea president 'captured', govt dissolved, claim army putschists'; attack on presidential palace repulsed, say authorities
World

Guinea president 'captured', govt dissolved, claim army putschists'; attack on presidential palace repulsed, say authorities

Reports suggest that they captured President Alpha Conde and dissolved the government, bust the ground situation remains unclear

Cryptocurrency prices tumble and exchange trading falters as snags crop up
News & Analysis

Cryptocurrency prices tumble and exchange trading falters as snags crop up

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The price of cryptocurrencies plunged and crypto trading was delayed on Tuesday, a day in which El Salvador ran into snags as the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Shares of blockchain-related firms also fell as crypto stocks were hit by trading platform outages. But the major focus was on El Salvador, where the government had to temporarily unplug a digital wallet to cope with demand.

Ford poaches Apple's car project chief Doug Field
News & Analysis

Ford poaches Apple's car project chief Doug Field

By Joseph White and Sanjana Shivdas (Reuters) -The head of Apple Inc's car project, Doug Field, is going to work for Ford Motor Co to lead the automaker's advanced technology and embedded systems efforts, a hiring coup for Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley.