Former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre is set to take over at the broadcast watchdog Ofcom which has been regularly criticised for failing to properly hold the BBC to account. Meanwhile, it is understood the former Daily Telegraph editor Lord Charles Moore is to be named as the BBC chairman. The appointment of two leading Brexiteers could significantly shake-up the UK’s media landscape.
Lord Moore has been an outspoken critic of the BBC over its decision to scrap free TV licences for the over-75s.
It is understood Mr Dacre will use his position at Ofcom to tackle allegations of BBC bias and bureaucracy – but will also go after internet platforms who peddle fake news.
Whitehall sources say he “passionately believes it needs saving from itself”, the Times reports.
Both veterans of Fleet Street have also criticised the BBC for its coverage of Brexit over the past four years since Britain voted to leave the EU.
Boris Johnson’s Government is to step up the pressure on the BBC
Paul Dacre is in line to take over at Ofcom
Mr Johnson reportedly held initial talks with Mr Dacre about the role in February.
The current chairman of Ofcom, Lord Burns, was appointed in January 2018 and is set to leave at the end of the year.
A source close to Mr Johnson said: “This is part of a process of the Prime Minister putting allies in key positions.”
Last month, Lord Moore was handed a peerage by the Prime Minister and senior figures say it is a “done deal” that he will become the new BBC chief.
Boris Johnson is set to shake things up at the BBC
In 2010, Lord Moore who also wrote a biography of Margaret Thatcher, was fined £262 by the cooperation for not possessing a licence.
Earlier this year, he insisted the BBC could “not carry on as before” and described the organisation as “woke” and “pro-Remain”.
He wrote: “It is essential to understand that technological and generational change has already destroyed the BBC’s century-old ‘wider still and wider’ doctrine.
“It is simply not possible for it to dominate all fields any longer. The BBC must start to decolonise.
“It needs Government help to do this in a dignified manner – more like British imperial decline than like the fall of the Soviet Union.”
The BBC has faced criticism over impartiality
In a comment piece he also claimed the cooperation was “certainly anti-Tory” and condemned its coverage of the 2016 EU referendum.
Lord Moore said the BBC was “not chiefly party political (though it is certainly anti-Tory)”.
He added: “It is politico/cultural – woke, pro-Remain, credulously green, anti-market, obsessed with issues connected with ‘diversity’, yet itself not truly diverse at all… if you had watched only the BBC in 2016, it would have come as an almost total shock to you when 17.4 million people voted Leave.”
The BBC has always denied allegations of bias and in its editorial guidelines the cooperation states it is “impartial, seeking to reflect the views and experiences of our audiences”.
Tim Davie is the new director general of the BBC
On the BBC position, a spokeswoman for the Department of Media said: “It is an open recruitment process and all public appointments are subject to a robust and fair selection criteria.”
The spokeswoman had no comment about the Ofcom role.
The expected appointments also come at a time when there is continued anger over the way the BBC uses taxpayer money for huge salaries for its presenters including Gary Linekar and Zoe Ball who both earn more than £1.3million a year.
Criticism of the Corporation has been mounting in recent years and earlier this week, actor Laurence Fox told Defund the BBC campaign: Laurence Fox on the BBC charter: “The BBC don’t care at all about their charter.
“The BBC is a propaganda machine for the hard left and they sit and sneer at the very people they are supposed to represent and are forced to pay for them under the threat of prosecution.”
Tim Davie, the newly appointed director-general of the BBC, has already announced a clampdown on staff sharing their personal views, amid growing questions over impartiality.
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In May, the BBC reprimanded the Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis over a monologue criticising the Prime Minister’s special adviser Dominic Cummings following his trip to Barnard Castle in Co Durham during the coronavirus crisis.
The BBC said the speech by Ms Maitlis had broken “due impartiality” rules.
Earlier this month during an address to staff at the BBC’s office in Cardiff, Mr Davie said: “If you want to be an opinionated columnist or a partisan campaigner on social media then that is a valid choice, but you should not be working at the BBC.
“We urgently need to champion and recommit to impartiality.
“In the age of fake news, social media campaigns, echo chambers of opinion, and noisy partisan media outlets, this, surely, is our time.”
(Additional reporting by David Maddox, Political Editor)
Source:Daily Express :: UK Feed