For many, the BBC putting adverts on its massively popular world-facing site bbc.com/news was a step too far for the state-funded, state-owned broadcaster.
But Richard Sambrook, director of BBC Global News and the man in charge of that site and the BBC News channel thinks, that commercialisation needs to go further. He tells The Guardian:
“We are operating in an incredibly competitive field that is developing very quickly. If we think the BBC should be one of the world’s leading news providers… in the end you’re not going to able to compete purely on the licence fee.”
The Beeb’s foreign online operations and the venerable World Service are funded by the Foreign Office, but that’s not enough to “compete with the Googles, CNNs and Yahoo!s”, says Sambrook.