The last figures released show that, every week, 96.5 per cent of over 16s in the UK used the BBC every week, and those included in the percentage spent around 17 and a half hours a week using the Corporation’s services. Since 1922, the BBC has served three main purposes; to inform, educate and entertain.
But in today’s world, 93 years after its launch, the BBC is under attack, and we’ve become detached from how much we need the Corporation. But there are five key reasons why nobody (even if you’re completely adamant you never use the BBC) can afford to lose the Corporation our country has grown old with.
1. We trust it
A survey by Kantar Media for the BBC asked 1000 people a month between April-June 2015 aged 16 and over whether or not they trust the BBC, on a scale where 1 was ‘strongly disagree’ and 10 was ‘strongly agree.’ The mean score given out of 10 was 6.3, which is high when compared to commercial rivals.
To give comparison to commercial rivals, the BBC 2013-2014 annual report stated that research company Ipsos MORI had found that 50% of respondents, when asked ‘Of all news sources, which one source are you most likely to turn to if you want impartial news coverage?’, said they would turn to the BBC, ahead of just 13% for ITV, 7% for Sky News and just 4% for Channel 4.
When you look at individual events, the BBC performs better than commercial rivals as well. Over the weekend of the Paris attacks, the BBC pulled in more viewers for it’s rolling coverage across the weekend compared to rivals like ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. Plus, 10 million followers to the @BBCBreaking Twitter account speaks for itself, don’t you think?
2. We think it’s original
In that same Kantar Media study, they asked a sample of 1000 over 16s a month how they felt about the quality of the BBC, and asked them to give their answer on a scale from 1 to 10. The final report gave the statement “I think that the BBC is good at coming up with fresh and new ideas” a mean score of 6.1 out of 10.
3. It serves British audiences the best of any single broadcaster
In the 2013-2014 period, the BBC’s television channels had a weekly reach of 83.9%, which is the highest of any single broadcaster in the UK. ITV was second with a weekly reach of 72.3%, followed by Channel 4 (64.2%), Channel 5 (43.1%) and Sky (43.9%).
BBC radio also followed a similar trend, with a weekly reach of 67.1%, compared to 64.9% for all commercial radio. Or, you could think of this using the other statistics. Narrowing it down to the BBC’s network radio and all national commercial radio, the BBC’s networks had a national reach of 61.2%, compared to just 32.3% for commercial radio.
— BBC (@BBC) July 17, 2015
4. It’s the face of Britain abroad
Through news alone, the BBC owns the BBC World Service Group, which operates the World Service, World News and the bbc.com/news site. In the 2013-2014 period, the total Global News audience was 265.3 million, across 240 countries and territories, excluding the UK’s news coverage. Plus, through its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, the Corporation does a lot to be the face of the UK overseas.
5. Because who wants adverts?
Seriously. Especially since every licence payer pays the equivalent of 40p a day for the BBC.
— Louisa Compton (@louisa_compton) November 28, 2014
Worth it for no ads, don’t you think?
What do you think? Why is the BBC important to public life? Have your say in the comments section below.