Key points in the BBC White Paper
The Government has unveiled its White Paper on the future of the BBC.
Here are the key points from the White Paper.
:: The BBC Trust will be abolished and Ofcom will be the external independent regulator of the BBC. In addition, a new "unitary board" will be established, which will consist of 12-14 members. The BBC will appoint at least half of the new board members.
:: The BBC's charter will be renewed every 11 years, rather than the 10 years at present so it is separate from the political cycle. There will be a "health check" at the mid-term of the charter to ensure "things are working as they are supposed to".
:: The licence fee cost will increase in line with inflation for five years from 2017/2018. People who watch BBC on-demand content via the iPlayer will have to obtain a TV licence.
:: BBC programming must focus on distinctiveness rather than just a quest for ratings.
:: The BBC will have to disclose the salaries of talent, employees and freelancers who earn more than £450,000.
:: The National Audit Office will be the new financial auditors of the BBC and will have the power to conduct investigations into the cost-effectiveness of the BBC's activities.
:: Editorial independence of the BBC will be "strengthened" by specific clauses in the new charter.
:: The Government pledges to "open the BBC's programme-making to greater competition". This will be done by the removal of an in-house guarantee for all television content spend, with the exception of news and news-related current affairs.
:: A new public service content fund of up to £60 million will be established, with the aim of creating new opportunities for others to provide content. The Government said this could include programmes for black, Asian and minority ethnic audiences, and children's TV.
:: More commitment to diversity to ensure the BBC "serves all audiences".
:: Better support from the BBC for local news provision across the UK. The BBC has announced plans for a new partnership with the News Media Association to support local journalism. The proposals equate to an overall investment of around £8 million a year. From 2017, the BBC will fund a new team of 150 reporters employed by qualifying local news organisations to cover local authorities and public services.
:: Protection of the BBC World Service and licence fee funding of the World Service by the Government, with a pledge to safeguard its annual funding of £254 million for five years. The Government will also make available £289 million of additional Government funding over the Spending Review period so that the international service can continue to represent the UK around the world.