Michael Crick on splitting the BBC political editor’s role…
“If one newspaper group owned 50% of daily readership, there would rightly be public outcry. When I did economics as a student, I was told that academic economists defined a monopoly as 30% of the market. In that case, the BBC certainly has a technical monopoly.
This is not an argument to demolish or weaken the BBC. I am a great supporter of the Corporation (having spent half my career there). It produces some of the best broadcast journalism on the planet. And many powerful people – not least lazy and corrupt politicians and officials, or crooked businessmen – would rejoice at the BBC’s demise.
But for so much journalistic clout to be held by a few individuals is unhealthy. This is not just an arcane discussion for media professionals; it’s about a fairer distribution of influence and power among the important checks and balances that a free and democratic society always needs.
The answer – as so often – is to promote pluralism and diversity. How about splitting the current job of BBC political editor into two posts – one for television and one for radio? It would ease the workload and provide a bit of competition.”