BBC boss warns public broadcasting in ‘red alert situation’ around world

The boss of the BBC has warned that public broadcasting is in a “red alert situation”.

The director-general of the corporation Tim Davie appeared at the Media And Telecoms 2024 And Beyond Conference at the Park Plaza London Riverbank on Tuesday.

He said he was feeling “more positive and confident” about public service broadcasting in the UK, but warned that elsewhere, this is not the case.

“I don’t want to be a market failure,” Mr Davie added. “And by the way, that’s what’s happening around the world.

“And I would suggest a… bit of time lecturing on what’s happening in the rest of the world, it’s scary, it is really problematic. I mean, not marginally troublesome, I would say we’re in a red alert situation in many, many markets.

“And as politics gets more polarised, we’ve got to decide where we want to be.”

Mr Davie also said that the issue was a “real challenge for us”, before adding: “This is not a criticism, news organisations trying to make their economics work will go for polarisation.”

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Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon (Ian West/PA)

Elsewhere, Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon said: “Lots of people don’t necessarily seek out trust and truth, and that’s a battle we’re engaged (in).”

She added that she was “hard-pressed” to find a show from a streaming platform which had a “change and impact”, and the only one she could think of was “probably” Prime Video’s Clarkson’s Farm for opening up conversations about farming in the UK.

“We’re not thinking about maximisation of dwell time as the soul of success, because when you are… that only leads to things that are more salacious,” Ms Mahon added.

She also said that leads viewers towards “things that are bad for you”.