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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-04 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. facts? details?
There is far less freedom of press there than there is here

That's a pretty categorical statement, and one I'd expect anyone making to be able to back up with some pretty solid evidence.

For crissakes, the medium in question in all this is state-owned. The issue in such a case (as those of us who have actual public broadcasters, like the CBC in Canada, know, and as I suspect even USAmericans familiar with PBS/NPR know) is the extent to which the state and the broadcaster operate at arm's length, which the UK and Cdn governments have made a political commitment to do with their public broadcasters.

And that is a political issue. The state could simply shut down the BBC, or the CBC here, and that would not be a freedom of the press issue, any more than it would be if Rupert Murdoch shut down all his newspapers in the US.

(Yes, it might be a sad day for the public in terms of access to information, but it would *not* be a violation of freedom of the press, because the governments are not under an obligation to fund television networks any more than Murdoch is under an obligation to print newspapers. Corporate convergence in the media is a sad thing for the public's access to information too, but it isn't a violation of freedom of the press either.)

I would think that this was why there was a judicial inquiry in the first place -- because the BBC is state-owned, and to preserve (appear to preserve, in this case, perhaps) the arm's length relationship and prevent the government from simply stomping in and sending heads rolling, there had to be an "independent" inquiry.

Obviously, it wasn't particularly independent. But that's a political issue, and that is how the employees and public there seem to be treating it -- as government interference in an agency that it is supposed to keep its distance from, for political purposes.

I doubt that they would greatly appreciate sweeping indictments of their desire or competence to acquire rights or protect their rights.


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