Observer Blog nails the cyclical nature of the debate about the BBC, in We love the beeb, kind of.
More than one editor observed that this is part of a cyclical debate in orbit around the beeb. It starts with the demand that they ignore the populist temptation to poach commercial viewers with crowd-pleasing TV-candy, preferring serious Reithian pursuits. The ratings duly fall. Then comes the argument that low ratings indicate a lack of popular engagement and, hard on its heels, the argument that the licence fee as currently configured is not justified since it amounts to a subsidy of minority viewing. So the BBC goes back to chasing ratings for ratings’ sake, at which point it is attacked for queering the competitive pitch. And so on.