I have been waiting for the transcript of a Westminster Media Forum which took place on March 10 where I was taken to task by Prof Steven Barnett. I was referring to work commissioned by Ofcom for their Second Review of Public Service Broadcasting in 2008: some 2000 people were asked to rate the programme types they considered important “for the good of society as a whole” (Q1) as against the types that were “most valuable to you” (Q2).
So people recognise that News, especially, and Current Affairs are social priorities whereas entertainment genres are personal priorities. (For parents, Childrens programmes fall into the right-hand quadrants too). This suggests to me that many people would support, at least in principle, public funding for social-priority genres and private payment for personal priority genres.
Sorry David, you are completely misinterpreting those Ofcom surveys, that is not what the public is saying. The public is saying it actually wants to see the BBC funded across the board in all the genres that they are at the moment.
I may have pushed that data a little too far, but I am not aware of any recent poll that has shown majority support for the BBC License Fee.
2004: an ICM poll for Panorama found that 31% were in favour of the existing licence fee, 36% said the BBC should be paid for by a subscription, and 31% wanted advertising to pay for the programmes.
2008: an Ipsos MORI poll commissioned by the Guardian found that 41% agreed that the licence fee was an "appropriate funding mechanism". 37% disagreed.
2009: In the Guardian/ICM Poll licence fee support also rose slightly to 43% amid doubt over commercial viability during a recession.
These are the polls I am aware of. There maybe others.