British government asks BBC to adapt to digital era

MUMBAI: The British government has granted the BBC its license fee for the next 10 years, but also asked the broadcaster to adapt those principles to the digital era and that it needs to return to its roots of "informing, educating and entertaining".

Suggesting that the corporation should put entertainment at the heart of its mission, these recommendations came in the form of a White Paper on the future of the BBC.

It also called for the BBC to avoid copycat programming and expensive foreign acquisitions, and confirmed new regulations designed to prevent the BBC from bullying commercial competitors.

Both the charter renewal, valid until 2016, and the White Paper come just two years after the devastating Hutton Report, which found that the BBC had engaged in irresponsible journalism.

The paper did lay out some new goals for the BBC. One of them is that the broadcaster should convert to full digital transmission by 2012. Another is that the BBC's programs and websites should be of high quality and engaging.

According to media reports, the report also commends the announced goal of BBC director general Mark Thompson to cut 4,000 jobs and re-invest the resulting £355 million a year in savings back into programming.

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