The rules on the impartiality of non-public service broadcasters should be relaxed, paving the way for the launch of channels such as Fox News in the UK, according to a newly released Conservative Party paper on broadcasting.
The paper, launched by shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, proposes that impartiality rules at the BBC should be tightened, but lessened at non-public service broadcasters.
The paper recommends the establishment of a single regulator to oversee the broadcasting industry and to replace the BBC Trust, which was established only last year.
It argues that the BBC Trust cannot independently regulate the BBC since it is, at base, ‘a creature of the BBC’and should possibly be replaced by a single Public Service Broadcasting Commission.
The Conservatives also backed the idea of top-slicing the licence fee. The paper proposes the BBC remains the primary recipient of licence fee funds, with other broadcasters bidding for ‘a small proportion’of it.