[2022] Motion 58 Defending public service broadcasting

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress notes that 2022 marks the BBC’s centenary, and as the debate begins about its funding model, and the government progresses its plans to privatise Channel 4, the trade union movement has a vital role to play in defending the principle of public service broadcasting, creative content and jobs.

Threats to the BBC’s future funding and plans to privatise Channel 4 are acts of cultural vandalism that must be vigorously opposed.

The BBC is more than a licence fee. Experience during the pandemic demonstrated fulfilment of the BBC’s charter to inform, educate and entertain the nation. This is made possible by its universal funding model that allows it to be a truly public service broadcaster that commissions innovative content, takes a chance new talent, and invests in jobs and output across the UK. Freezing then threatening the future of the licence fee will necessitate huge cuts, hitting jobs, regional economies, and content.

Privatising the hugely successful, self-sustaining Channel 4 will deal a heavy blow to independent production, along with tens of thousands of jobs across the country and the boundary-pushing, thought provoking content British audiences enjoy.

Congress calls on the General Council to campaign to:

i. keep the uniquely British institution that is Channel 4 in public hands.

ii. protect the BBC licence fee and a sustainable funding model.

iii. highlight the important role that the BBC plays in the creative industries and the significant economic benefits that this provides.

iv. urge all unions, creative industry bodies and civic society to defend public service broadcasting.