BBC puts creativity, diversity and impartiality at heart of future plan

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UK national broadcaster, the BBC, has set out bold ambitions in its latest annual plan for the next two years.

In its annual plan, the BBC said it will make a commitment to bold and creative programme making, innovation in how it delivers its services, ensure impartial journalism in a rapidly changing world, and for BBC staff, it plans to make the BBC an even greater place to work.

Creativity

In a detailed statement it said it will invest in the most creative content which is unique and distinctive. In the past year Bodyguard had an extraordinary 17 million people watching the finale, while Killing Eve had over 40 million requests-to-view on BBC iPlayer. The plan sets out the amazing programmes it will continue to make this year as its number one priority.

Killing it: BBC dramas including Killing Eve, The Bodyguard and A Very English Scandal tipped for BAFTAs

Both these shows have just received a raft of nominations in the upcoming BAFTA TV Awards. 

Diversity, gender pay gap

The BBC also said it will reflect the diverse communities of the UK in its workforce and output. The plan reveals that it has already met its workforce targets for BAME, LGBTQ+, and disability. 

By 2020 the Beeb aims to have a workforce at least as diverse, if not more so, than any other in the industry; and to have met portrayal and workforce targets that cover a much wider range of diversity than any other broadcaster.

It claims to have already reduced its gender pay gap by nearly a fifth over the past year, bringing the median gap down from 9.3 per cent to 7.6 per cent and said it will continue to work to reduce it further this year.

Impartiality

Often criticised over its impartiality, the BBC said it will stand up for impartiality and continue to make sure the broadest range of views are heard. The BBC remains one of the most popular and trusted sources of news in the UK and globally, it said, insisting it will continue to develop its news offer, including podcasts for on demand and younger listeners. 

Impartial: BBC promises to drive balance in its news coverage

It will also develop its ‘voice’ offer for news on smart speakers, so that trusted impartial news can be easily accessed by audiences.

iPlayer development 

The plan also sets out how it will develop and grow both BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds across the next twelve months, with a focus on personalisation. It will also refresh relevant content across all genres and all platforms to appeal to younger audiences.

Licence fee issues

In the year ahead, the BBC said its Board is also expected to make a decision on the future of free licences for the over 75s. An announcement is expected early summer.

Commenting on the annual plan, BBC Director General, Tony Hall, said the broadcaster aims to enhance the lives of almost everyone in the UK in a rapidly changing industry. 

“Around 44 million British people use us every day - more than 90% of the adult population every week", he said. “All broadcasters face the challenges of a fast changing media landscape. The BBC can meet those challenges and succeed in the future, just as we have succeeded in the past. We will achieve success by continuing to place British creativity at the heart of our program making. 

“Our ambition is to deliver the very best, most distinctive, British content of any broadcaster. The string of hits and award winning programmes of the past twelve months shows that we can deliver. We will build on that in the months ahead to meet the rising expectations of the public.

“Our journalism must continue to ask the difficult questions and hold those in power to account. The role of our journalism at home and abroad has never been more important in a fast changing and uncertain world.

“And where we have big decisions to make that will impact the shape and future of the BBC, we will make them carefully and responsibly.  We will always put the public and our audiences first.”

David Clementi, Chairman of the BBC, said: “This plan lays the foundations for the continued success of the BBC. It has creativity and journalistic integrity at its heart and will ensure we continue to deliver great programming and journalism to the public.

“The BBC will of course, like many organisations, face challenges in the months and years ahead, but our plans mean that the public will have a huge amount to look forward to.”

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