The National Union of Journalists has welcomed new research which claims the public is willing to pay more for the BBC licence fee, and particularly for local news.
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The report, commissioned by the government, found people would be happy to pay an extra £31 a year, an average of £162.66, for the BBC's current and future services up to 2017.
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “We welcome these findings and are not at all not surprised that the public is willing to pay for quality programming and particularly for more local news on the BBC. This is a lesson that ITV, which has been slashing regional coverage, would do well to take heed of.
This is a lesson that ITV, which has been slashing regional coverage, would do well to take heed of.
“Quality does cost money and it requires the work of skilled professionals but it is clear that the public values what the BBC does and does not mind paying for it.
“We trust that the government will take note of its own findings and secure the strong economic future of the corporation.”
The survey, compiled by the Work Foundation, questioned nearly 7,000 people and was commissioned by the Department for Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS).
The report also found that of the BBC's proposed services, new digital and online learning for 14- to 18-year-olds was most popular, with 67.7% in favour.
The current licence fee is £131.50. The BBC wants it increased to £180 by 2013.
The new licence fee settlement is expected to be announced in October.