I am a defender of the BBC. My main argument in favour of it is that it is awesome.
Especially in the case of online news, the argument that the beeb should get out of the way in order to make life easier for commercial rivals is, IMHO, complete arse.
It’s the same sort of confused claptrap you hear from record companies – who are also in the position of having had the business model they relied on for years blown up by the interweb, and resent the fact that it means they have to do things like think and change and experiment and take risk and possibly not make as much money than they used to. Well boo hoo.
David Mitchell put it nicely in a piece in yesterday’s Observer:
I understand why the BBC frustrates the private sector – it makes business much harder for them. But I don’t know why they expect the public to care, other than out of concern for the Murdoch and Rothermere families’ finances. In all their whingeing, they’ve consistently failed to point to any other country where, thanks to the unfettered function of a free market, better television, radio and online content are available. On the contrary, the BBC is the envy of the world. Why are we letting its competitors, and the politicians they have frightened or bought, tell us that we can’t keep it as it is?