2004 EFJ Resolution on Public Service Broadcasting

On 17 April 2004, the General Meeting of the European Federation of Journalists adopted a resolution on public service broadcasting (Tabled by NUJ – Great Britain):

This GM notes with concern the outcome of the Hutton Report in the UK, which undermines the BBC, public service broadcasting and investigative journalism. It notes that the report has given powerful support to anti-BBC forces and particularly condemns the comments made by Sion Simon Labour MP who called for the privatisation of the Service. The GM reaffirms its belief in a strong, independent BBC free from commercial and political interference.

The GM notes that following the publication of the report, sections of the British press, particularly the Murdock owned titles, hostile to public service broadcasting in general and the BBC in particular have argued that the BBC is 'institutionally left wing', dominated by liberals and the license fee used to promote a partisan political agenda. These critics also condemn the BBC for its activities in promoting digital and on line services, which they would prefer to see operating purely within the commercial sector.

The GM notes that these actions in the run up to the BBC Charter renewal in 2006 coupled with the creation of a single ITV company in England represents a serious attack on the future of public service broadcasting in the UK. This coupled with the general trend in several European countries to privatise part of existing public service network calls for an even greater response by the EFJ.

The GM supports the efforts of the NUJ UK and Ireland in its campaign for a strong independent BBC paid for through the license fee. It further supports the work of the IFJ 'Public Services Broadcasting Campaign for All', in promoting the values of public service broadcasting and calls for the developing of a European wide campaign in favour of public service broadcasting by building alliances between broadcasters, journalists, trade unions, pressure groups and members of the public to put maximum pressure on national governments and the European Parliament, working with decision makers in national and the European parliaments to defend and promote the values of public service broadcasting.