On the evening of 22 August, Jeremy Corbyn shared a radical proposal to reform the BBC:
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) August 22, 2018
The internet hasn’t stopped talking – or using the hashtag #ChangeTheMedia – since. And there’s been resounding support for the proposals, which are being hailed as an important step in holding those in power to account:
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Journalism should be about holding the wealthy and powerful to account, but that's dying. So Labour's plans to strengthen Freedom of Information, give charitable status to local and investigative journalism, and tax digital giants to fund the BBC is a big deal. #ChangeTheMedia
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) August 22, 2018
.@jeremycorbyn to outline plans tomorrow to fix our failing media by setting journalists & citizens free to hold power to account. Without major changes a “few tech giants and unaccountable billionaires will control huge swathes of our public space and debate”. #ChangeTheMedia
— Seán Duffy (@seantduffy) August 22, 2018
Transparency and diversity
The proposals also call for greater transparency and diversity in the BBC‘s hiring practices, by requiring it to “publish equality data, including for social class, for all creators of its content”:
Corbyn proposes greater transprancy in regard to the diversity and make up of the BBC workforce, including class. He knows it will expose how unrepresentative of the UK population as a whole it is.
The time has come to #ChangeTheMedia to better represent the many, not the few
— Chelley Ryan 🖐️ #RJCOB (@chelleryn99) August 22, 2018
— Jon Knight 🌹✊ (@J0nKn1ght) August 22, 2018
Greater democracy and independent media
If the plans are implemented, large tech corporations would be taxed to fund the BBC, and licence-fee payers could influence the BBC‘s output by electing representatives to the governing board.
And plans to facilitate and support local and independent media have also made people optimistic:
Corbyn an absolute warrior. Democratise the media!
Tax billionaires&tech giants to fund BBC.
Take Govt power over BBC away
Support not for profit journalism
How’s the Tory right wing media taking it? #ChangeTheMedia pic.twitter.com/Spox7WHDUP
— ARTIST TAXI DRIVER (@chunkymark) August 23, 2018
Corbyn’s proposals to #ChangeTheMedia are some of the most exciting and radical policies he’s announced yet.
A truly independent, democratic and diverse BBC.
Local & investigative reporting funded by the billionaire tech firms who helped put them out of business.
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza (@TheMendozaWoman) August 23, 2018
Ready for change
There was some criticism, of course:
This is a huge announcement by @labourpress.
•Ending #BBCBias by taking away political interference.
•Supporting those on low incomes.
•Supporting independent journalism & recognising it's importance.
•Forcing big techs to pay#ChangeTheMedia #JC4PMhttps://t.co/c1NMORDBzo
— Alex Tiffin (@RespectIsVital) August 22, 2018
— Deb Quick (@DebbieQuick9) August 22, 2018
— Jim Slogh (@JSlogh) August 23, 2018
All in all, Corbyn’s radical new proposal to reform the BBC and #ChangeTheMedia has given many people hope – hope for an opportunity for real democracy, accountability, and lasting change. And we are definitely here for it.
– Tweet and follow #ChangeTheMedia.
– Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.
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