Readers respond to the culture secretary’s claim that the broadcaster is unrepresentative
Like many populist demagogues, Nadine Dorries makes some good points but comes to the wrong conclusion (BBC staffed by people ‘whose mum and dad worked there’, says Nadine Dorries, 4 October). The BBC, as our national public service broadcaster, should indeed be more “representative” and “accessible”. The answer is not, however, to threaten its existence (“Will the BBC still be here in 10 years? I don’t know,” Dorries said) but to engage in a wide discussion on how it should change, without using the threat of the licence fee settlement.
The BBC does need a process of modernisation, democratisation and radical reform, along the lines suggested by the Media Reform Coalition. It would be less vulnerable to the kind of attacks mounted by Dorries if it was more robust, democratic and determined in its project to be “more accessible to people from all backgrounds”. This diversity should be reflected in both the BBC’s employment practices and in programme commissioning.
Emeritus professor, Goldsmiths, University of London