Peter Preston has written a thoughtful response to James Murdoch’s lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.
He says that, stripped of the rhetoric, he agrees with Murdoch about the anti-competitive threat posed to independent media by the BBC.
And he calls for a “civilised discussion, not an Edinburgh shouting match, in order to start finding media solutions”.
Good luck with that one. Robert Peston has already had a slanging match with Murdoch.
And the BBC has circled the wagons.
- BBC1 controller Jay Hunt said “I think we can be pretty confident about what we do”, and denied that the BBC – which spends £150m a year on its web site – is distorting the market.
- Jana Bennett, the BBC’s director of vision, (?) said: “Given the way the audience and the public want to trust their news, I think it would be a regrettable step to go for patrician news as if that is really going to help public debate and civil society.”
(Not too sure what that means. It sounds very…er…visionary. I’m assuming she thinks Murdoch is wrong as well.)
Here’s the whole lecture, if you want to make your own judgment.