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15/12/2019 19:40:20  

The campaign saw an unprecedented level of criticism of British journalism

Was it the media wot lost it? This general election has seen an unparalleled level of criticism of British journalism, a prime minister who showed it was possible to skip tough interviews without suffering at the ballot box, and an online campaign that pushed the limits of what was previously considered acceptable in UK politics.

The aftermath has seen Jeremy Corbyn partly blame the still-powerful Sun and Daily Mail for his defeat, despite the plummeting print circulations of national newspapers. At the same time the Conservatives have turned their fire on the media and are threatening to decriminalise the licence fee – potentially severely undermining the BBC – and look at other ways of changing the way the UK media operates.

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15/12/2019 19:40:18  

No 10 boycotts Today programme and considers decriminalising non-payment of licence fee

Downing Street is threatening the future of the BBC by insisting it is seriously considering decriminalising non-payment of the licence fee, while boycotting Radio 4’s Today programme over the broadcaster’s supposed anti-Tory bias.

No 10 pulled ministers from Saturday’s edition of the Today programme and sources said it intended to “withdraw engagement” from the show in future.

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15/12/2019 15:27:42  

The government is to examine whether failure to buy an annual TV licence should remain an offence.
12/12/2019 13:31:18  

While overshadowed by the other David – and out of step on both the EU and climate change – the naturalist and presenter will be remembered for his unbridled enthusiasm for botany

The jolly, bearded, accessibly scholarly botanist David Bellamy, who has died aged 86, was for many years one of TV’s most effective popularisers of science. That was, until his career stalled when he found himself on the wrong side of the political and environmental climates.

There has always been a tension in British television between the founding aims of the nation’s broadcasting, expressed in the BBC charter – “to inform, educate, and entertain” – with the first two often struggling to compete with the third. One solution to this conflict was the expert who was also eccentric. Between the 1960s and the 1980s, Bellamy was a member of this group of wacky specialists, along with futurologist James Burke, dog psychologist Barbara Woodhouse, and scientists Dr Magnus Pyke and Professor Heinz Woolf, with the last of whom Bellamy appeared in the high-rating ITV scientific brains’ trust formats, Don’t Ask Me (1974-78) and Don’t Just Sit There (1979-80).

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10/12/2019 21:30:48  

Exclusive: presenter talks about taking over as main anchor from David Dimbleby

Huw Edwards has said “the stakes are very high” for the BBC and its general election coverage on Thursday, admitting he feels “a combination of excitement and nerves” as he prepares to succeed David Dimbleby as its main anchor.

Amid Conservative threats to examine the BBC licence fee and Channel 4’s broadcasting remit after the election, and BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg having to apologise after being misled over an altercation outside Leeds General Infirmary, public service broadcasters are under immense scrutiny.

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10/12/2019 03:30:32  

Boris Johnson’s car-crash interview over sick boy on A&E floor features alongside a BBC TV licence row and the deaths in New Zealand

General election coverage – focusing on the sick child whom Boris Johnson refused to look at, plus the perennial BBC TV licence debate – has combined with the New Zealand volcano disaster to create a series of dramatic front pages today.

The i says simply: “No sign of life” over the top of an image of the White Island volcano’s eruption, as seen from the water. It says safety warnings were ignored for years at the country’s most active volcano.

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09/12/2019 17:30:56  

Remarks came amid row over PM’s refusal to look at a picture of a sick boy in hospital

Boris Johnson has threatened to take the BBC’s licence fee away as a source of funding, as he came under fire over a damaging row about his refusal to acknowledge a picture of a sick boy left waiting on a hospital floor.

The prime minister suggested the licence fee, which is guaranteed to continue until at least 2027, was a general tax that can no longer be justified when other media organisations have found other ways of funding themselves.

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09/12/2019 17:27:32  
09/12/2019 16:27:12  

The prime minister is asked whether he would scrap the TV licence fee.
09/12/2019 16:27:02  

The prime minister questions whether funding the broadcaster out of general taxation "makes sense".