ALMOST half of Brits think the BBC fails to represent their values, new research suggests.
A YouGov survey found 44 per cent of people felt the BBC represented their values badly, with 48 per cent of older people saying it did not adequately fit their views.
New research suggests almost half of Brits feel the BBC fails to represent their valuesCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Time Davie became the BBC’s new director general in September last yearCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The research, conducted for The Times, showed levels of dissatisfaction were higher in the north, with 51 per cent in northern England and 47 per cent in Scotland feeling badly represented.
Among those who voted for Brexit, 58 per cent were unhappy with the corporation’s overall stance.
Over the past year, only 4 per cent said the Beeb’s values had become more like theirs while a third (33 per cent) said it had become less like theirs.
Older male viewers outside London and the southeast were the most likely to be dissatisfied with the BBC’s perceived values.
By comparison, Government research in 2016 found that 62 per cent of the public had an overall favourable view of the BBC.
The latest findings tally with an Ofcom report from November, which said the BBC’s older middle-class audience was going off it.
The Ofcom report also said the Beeb was considered the least impartial public service broadcaster, below ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Channel 5.
In fact, over half of adults (54 per cent) believe it provides impartial news.
It comes ahead of a government review on public sector broadcasting, amid speculation that the license fee as it currently stands, could be scrapped.
Of the latest findings, Sir Robbie Gibb, an ex director of communications for No. 10 who has been appointed to the review, told The Times: “These findings show why the BBC’s director-general, Tim Davie, is right to make improving impartiality his No 1 priority.”
It’s inevitable that the so-called state broadcaster, trying to be all things to all people, struggles mightily to be anything to anyone.
Roger Mosey, a former head of BBC Television News, said: “The BBC is more in tune with a metropolitan and more liberal audience than it is with the rest of the country.
“The positive thing is that I’m certain Tim Davie is on the case . . . Top of the agenda for me would be real devolution to centres outside London and a much deeper understanding of audiences.”
Meanwhile, David Elstein, a former senior BBC editor who went on to launch Channel 5, added: “If people don’t think you are impartial, and don’t think you represent their views or culture, eventually it will become very hard to sustain the BBC’s current funding model.
“It’s inevitable that the so-called state broadcaster, trying to be all things to all people, struggles mightily to be anything to anyone.”
In March Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, accused the BBC of providing a “narrow urban outlook” and “missing the strength of support for Brexit”.
A BBC spokesman said: “Recent research shows that people still connect with our core mission to inform, educate and entertain, and our purposes remain relevant.
“However, the new director-general has made it very clear that the BBC must work hard to represent a very broad section of views.”