Sir David Clemente argued that many of the elderly consider the BBC to be left-wing, while many young people believe it is right-biased. Senior conservatives have repeatedly claimed that the BBC is leaning to the left and Boris Johnson has suggested that non-payment of license fees could be decriminalized.
“There is a general trend,” said Sir David, addressing the Fall Listener and Viewer Voice on Prejudice.
“We do a lot of neutrality surveys and it shows that about a quarter of our audience thinks we are leaning to the left, and a little less – but still very many – they think we are leaning to the right.
“But the interesting thing about it is that it is related to age.
“Once you are over 50 years old, there are a great number of people who are convinced that we all live in Islington and we all, you know, whatever. They are convinced.
It’s illegal to watch live TV in the UK without paying the £ 157.50 BBC license fee per year
“But if you talk to the younger generation, they sometimes think that we are part of the organization and we lean to the right.”
During his tenure as Labor leader, Jeremy Corbyn supporters repeatedly accused the company of bias against him.
It is illegal to watch live TV broadcasts in the UK without paying the £ 157.50 BBC license fee per year.
Sir David revealed that shortly after last year’s general election he was publicly reprimanded by a group of students who believed the BBC was right-biased.
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Sir David Clemente is the Chairman of the BBC
He said, “Six or seven young students came to me to reproach me for the BBC’s performance in the elections, which they said was heavily biased towards conservatives, and they did not believe it.
There is a very big age issue of impartiality, and we take it very seriously.
“For the vast majority of our productions we are very good however [new director-general] Tim Davy has made this his number one priority and we are stepping up neutrality. “
Sir David claimed that the BBC could thrive as a subscription service similar to Netflix, but indicated that this is not what the British public wants.
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Sir David said that some young people view the BBC as right-leaning
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Netflix users in the UK pay a standard fee of £ 8.99 a month.
Sir David commented: “Those who promote – and there are a lot of them – the concept of subscription services ignore these points.
“They rarely grapple with technical problems, they do not explain how to pay for the radio, they do not deal with the commercial reality of a subscription service, and they do not indicate to the public the types of investment, programs and services that may be lost.
“Their argument is largely ideological.”
Defund the BBC campaign group earlier this year launched a call for non-payment of licensing fees to decriminalize.
The group has since attracted more than 98,000 followers on Twitter.
People caught watching television without a license can be fined up to £ 1,000 plus court costs, and could face jail if they fail to pay.
Shortly after the 2019 general election, the BBC’s Managing Director defended the company in an article in The Daily Telegraph.
About 27 million people in the UK came to the BBC to find out about the election results
He said: “About 27 million people in the UK came to the BBC website to find out the election results.
It was a reminder of the trust people place on the BBC.
“But the criticism of the truth came from all sides of the political division, it shows me that we were doing our work without fear or favor.”