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Entertainment Unions launch alternative vision for BBC

15 March 2016

Alternative White PaperThe Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU) launched its BBC Alternative White Paper in Parliament on Tuesday, 15 March.

The FEU white paper has been released in advance of the government's white paper that will outline its views on the future of the BBC. 

The FEU Alternative White Paper calls for the BBC to:

• Renegotiate its agreement to fund free TV licences for the over-75s, which could mean a loss of 20 per cent of its budget;

• Be independent of government interference, by extending the charter period to 11 years to take it out of the political cycle;

• Have a governance structure which is not filled with government appointees and includes representatives of its staff and licence fee payers;

• Continue to be a universal broadcaster making a full range of popular drama and entertainment programmes;

• Provide news free of bias and maintain standards of accuracy and integrity in its journalism.

Speakers at the event in parliament included Maria Eagle MP (shadow secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport), Lord Fowler and Hywel Williams MP.

Maria Eagle expressed regret over the fact that the BBC had agreed to pay licence fees for over 75s and added:

"The people of this country appreciate the BBC and want to keep it doing what it is doing. What it is not, is a state broadcaster in the pocket of the government of the day. It is wrong that the BBC should be used as a political football and its independence has to be protected by politicians. This Alternative White Paper is an important voice that should be taken into account when the Government produces its White Paper."

Read the full text of the BBC Alternative White Paper.

The FEU comprises Equity, the Musicians’ Union, BECTU, the National Union of Journalists, the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, the Professional Footballers’ Association and Unite.

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