A bunch of bureaucrats making a living with your money happily decide what is good for you, restricting deliberately your choices, arguing obscure reasons like “the ether is already full”, and making nearly impossible to compete (not to mention entering the game) with regulations growing everywhere like brush. Then comes Mr. Moneybags and overcomes the regulations and begins to profit from them, too.
In the meanwhile, nobody seems to care about the threats the freedom of expression had to face and still faces in Britain. You have to really get along with the established order to have a chance and get into privileged media. ¿Commercial radio competition allowed only in 1973? That reeks so of fascism…
Sorry, but the BBC has too much power for its own good. And sorry, but it was the British government and its protégés that paved the way for a Rupert Murdoch. They still think in making all kinds of dubious arrangements despising everybody else. That’s the sense of the well-documented article (by far one of the best articles of the year here in Slate).
I still (respectfully) disagree. State-managed (or controlled) media is something you should be opposed as a matter of principle. Once the goverment is in the game, its behavior is not different from any media mogul. BBC can broadcast something intersting but unwatchable (in american terms) like “Inspector Morse”, but it used to ban Beatles songs, too. Taking it to the extreme, just think in Cuba: people only read Granma and the official TV channels, and blogging your brains out could be labeled as counter-revolutionary.
It is true that most media conglomerates look out for the lowest common denominator when they compete, but it is also true the old saying in entertainement and news: give people what they want. No matter what you think (and dislike), there is a lot of people happy with soap operas and gossip. Markets are related to competition, business… well, there is cronyism disguised as business, specially when there is not enough competition.
I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard years ago that people in Europe had to pay a fee for watching open television. NPR and PBS should rightfully be sustained and sponsored, but not through goverment.