Out of touch

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With the news that the BBC is going to be asked to justify the £112m it spends on online and interactive services, comes the feeling that, once again, the government isn’t really in touch with this internetweb thingy…
BBC dealt online ultimatum: “The BBC has been asked to provide a detailed critique of its own online operations, measured against the objectives outlined by former director general John Birt when he originally secured approval for BBC Online in 1997.”

1997! In internet time that is an eternity ago, and I struggle to see how any organisation would be able to justify itself against anything drawn up against how the internet stood six years ago. The BBC News website has won awards (and rightly so in my opinion), and News 24 is a solid channel. I would question the money spent on BBC3 (and BBC Choice before it) and of course we must remember that a portion of this comes from our TV licence fee (however I’m sure I’ve read figures along the lines of 10% or less of the money they get comes from that source).

The UK is still behind many countries in usage and uptake of the internet, the BBC as a brand is seen as safe, reliable and trustworthy, a must in the eyes of new(er) internet users. I think this should be maintained.

I have the nagging suspicion that this is about money though.