Chris Patten does not want the government to appoint BBC board members.
Britain’s and the world’s one of the greatest institutions BBC should be “regulated, not intimidated” writes Chris Patten, the former chairman of the BBC Trust. Along with this, he wrote it would be a “calamity if the future of the corporation were to be put in peril because attention was focused elsewhere” in the Financial Times.
Chris Patten, former BBC chairperson. Source: Financial Times
In the same written statement, he expressed his concern over BBC’s independence which is likely to suffer if, as reported, the government sought the right to appoint a majority of non-executive on the broadcaster’s newly constituted board.
“Ministers of all colors have a genetic predisposition to put in place their ideological fellow travelers, and no supposedly independent process has ever prevented that from happening,” remarked Patten in a speech to Oxford’s Reuters Institute of Journalism.
“Since I stood down as chairman of the BBC Trust two years ago, I have said very little in public about the corporation’s future. But it seems appropriate that I do so now, and say things about the BBC that its many enemies would prefer you not to know. Such as the fact that the BBC’s real income has fallen over the past decade by more than 15 percent, or that this supposedly bloated, top-heavy, bureaucratic organisation now has its overheads down to way below the public sector average. No wonder it sometimes feels besieged.” Patten went on to express his grave concerns in his paper.
— Financial Times (@FT) May 3, 2016
Patten shared that he’d like to establish a small commission to guarantee the independence of BBC and of all broadcasting.
“I would establish a small commission to guarantee the independence of the BBC and of all broadcasting. It would have three main roles. It would appoint the chairman and non-executive directors of the BBC. It would recommend proposals for future levels of BBC funding after consultation. And it would appoint the chairman and deputy chairman of Ofcom, thus putting more distance between that body and the government of the day.”
Chris Patten was the chairman of the BBC Trust from 2011 to 2014.