Should commercial TV stations be allowed to use BBC license fees to pay for regional news programmes?
The BBC gains an immense advantage over commercial TV channels in its gaining the TV license fee to pay for its programmes rather than having to rely on advertisers. However the other terrestrial TV stations also provide some public broadcasting, particularly in news programming. ITV is finding it difficult to justify keeping regional news running but it is in public's interest so should the money come out of the BBC’s purse?
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Different people like different news programme formats and with ITV having regional news programmes as well as BBC it gives the public the choice over which style they would prefer.
If ITV cannot fund their news programming for regional areas it would mean that people would have to rely on other networks to find out the regional news. This may not suitable to some people as all of the networks work with a different style and story selection. Viewers become accustomed to style and it should remain that way. Everyone has to pay for a TV licence even if they do not watch BBC so why should the money be solely for BBC?
The whole point is that the BBC receives the licence payer’s fees in order for them to be able to run without commercial endorsements. This means that they are not influenced by promotional products and are not bias. The news is where this particularly sees benefit. Whilst ITV and other news programmes, regional or not, can be influenced by commercial advertisers wanting the news to be told a certain way, the BBC has no uch commercial pressure. To give public money to a commercial TV station is preposterous as the bias would still exist. It is the elevation of bias for which the fee is for. If people would prefer to watch tripe, then so be it, but everyone should pay for the right to watch unbiased news.
It is a form of public service
Everyone has to pay for a television licence whether watching BBC or not. This allows the BBC to be a public service broadcaster meaning that they have to provide programmes that inform, educate and entertain.
News programming fits in this catergory across all channels. The funding should then be split across all channels where news programming is concerned. There should be payouts made for different types of programming that come from the sale of television licences. This would mean that channels like ITV do not have to sacrifice some of their programmes due to cost issues.
The advertising that ITV has to be able to run as a channel should be used more productively if there are any issues where regional news is concerned. The regional news is an intergral part of television programming and without it ITV cannot truly rival BBC.
If there is no money to fund regional news programmes then why are there big budget programmes and high cost films being aired on ITV? The money that comes purely from advertising is how ITV has always worked. It is not a public service broadcaster so why should it get the funding of one? BBC works on the TV licensing costs and it is purely for the reason that it is a public service broadcaster. ITV rivals BBC due to its commercial status and it should not have to rely on the funding from BBC to still broadcast regional news.
ITV does not have much funding at the moment. However, there is an incline in advertising sales so this should be the thing that ITV focus on rather than trying to scrounge money off their competition network.
There is an increase of 50p a month due to the funding of ITV and universal broadband under the new government plans. This may only seem small at £6 a year but it is yet another increase in costs that the public just does not have.
Those who do not actually watch BBC are already forced to pay for television licences yet now the price is being increased to bring ITV in on this and to bring about the 'digital switchover' that includes universal broadband.
The idea of universal broadband is an understandble concept as it means that the public are not denied faster internet due to the place that they live. It will also mean that more people can effectively use the internet. However, the idea that ITV is gaining more money to fund its news programming is not beneficial to everyone. Not everyone will want to watch the ITV news and due to it being purely for news programming this 50p a month is a loss to the public.
It's a lost cause
The regional news programming of ITV costs £80 million a year[[http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article6839113.ece]]. This cost is extreme and if the programming is funded by licensing fees this just seems so much more of a lost cause. The money could be put into other areas of broadcast like educational broadcasting and documentary.
Without ITV news the public will still be able to access regional news through BBC and other channels across terrestrial and digital television. With this in mind it seems that ITV would just be using a large amount of money for no progression and the fact that there will not be a lack of regional programming across networks means that the funding should be placed in more profitable and more worthy areas of broadcasting.
News begins and ends in London baby. The regions should try to remember that.
What do you think?