Even if James Murdoch is talking his own book it is manifestly true, as he says, that “the expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision, which are so important for our democracy. Dumping free, state-sponsored news on the market makes it incredibly difficult for journalism to flourish on the internet. Yet it is essential for the future of independent digital journalism that a fair price can be charged for news to people who value it.”
The BBC destroys the ability of competitors to make a profit. We would have a more vibrant culture if the BBC wasn’t destroying the hopes of start-ups unable to compete with a rival that has almost unlimited funds and no need to make a profit. The BBC simply should not be in a whole range of areas, why did it need to nationalise the successful Lonely Planet publisher? Why is it competing to crush the Virgin and Capital radio stations?
The Tories don’t really have a plan to deal with the cultural monolith that is the BBC. A permanent freeze on the licence fee would be a start.