Unions send petition to Jowell on BBC charter

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear and president Jim Corrigall have
sent a petition with thousands of signatures in support of the BBC
remaining a strong public service broadcaster to Media Secretary Tessa
Jowell.

Her department – which is reviewing the BBC’s charter for
the Government – was moving towards the final stages of drafting its
Green Paper on the BBC when the petition was sent last week.

In
his letter to Jowell, Corrigall said: “These signatories strongly
support the unions’ demand that the BBC charter should be renewed for a
full 10-year period.

“They want to see the BBC remain strong, publicly-funded and free from political and commercial interference.

“They
have called on the Government to maintain the licence fee as the best
source of BBC funding, and have rejected the idea that part of licence
fee revenue should be handed over to commercial broadcasters. The
signatories have also called on the BBC to stop selling off parts of
the corporation.

They support the demand for a more democratic and accountable BBC, with a reformed board of governors.”

The
petition was a joint initiative by the NUJ and the broadcasting union,
BECTU. The signatories included leaders of the main trade unions,
ordinary members, and members of the public.

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