The BBC has today said it has “no intention” of charging for online news, in a declaration that is unlikely to please James Murdoch and his father Rupert as they prepare to start charging for News Corporation content on the internet.
Sir Michael Lyons, the BBC Trust chairman, said the corporation has “no intention of diluting BBC commitment to universal access to free news online” as he outlined the areas director general Mark Thompson’s ongoing strategic review will cover.
The BBC’s internet news operations came under fire in August at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival from James Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation in Europe and Asia, who accused the corporation of “throttling” the market and preventing its competitors from launching or expanding their own services online.
News International, the News Corp subsidiary that owns the company’s British newspapers, including the Sun and the Times, is planning to start charging for its journalism online.
Lyons said today that the BBC Trust “recognises external concerns over scale and growth of BBC online operations”. But he added: “Equally, it’s an immensely popular service with audiences and an important tool for the economy…”
One would hope the Beeb also realizes their reach is well beyond the UK or the Dominion. They have an intact newsgathering organization that is replacing the role of many other news media operations – that have become dedicated to News as Entertainment. Which requires little or no journalistic skill.
Just ask anyone who used to enjoy CNN.