BBC News

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 25th July 2022.

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Photo of Munira Wilson Munira Wilson Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of the merger of BBC News and BBC World News on the effectiveness of public service news broadcasting (a) in the UK and (b) overseas; and what discussions she has had with representatives of the BBC on funding to maintain those services.

Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman Minister of State

The BBC’s proposal to merge BBC News and BBC World News means that the BBC will continue to provide a 24 hour news channel both domestically and abroad. This forms part of the BBC’s plan announced on 26 May to keep the BBC relevant and offer value to all audiences in an on-demand age, with a particular focus on plans to build a digital-first BBC.

We believe the recent licence fee settlement is a fair settlement for the BBC, which will see the BBC continue to receive £3.7bn in annual public funding to deliver its Mission and Public Purposes and continue doing what it does best. We recognise the BBC, just like individual households, businesses and other organisations across the UK, is having to make difficult financial decisions. But the BBC is operationally and editorially independent from the government, and decisions over its spending and services are a matter for them.

The Government strongly values the BBC’s work in promoting UK values globally through its independent and impartial broadcasting. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office will also continue to provide the BBC World Service with £94.4m p/a for the period 2022-2025.

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