With five more years of Tory government on the horizon, the BBC is at its most perilous moment. Government ministers are attacking it in every way, from wanting to cut the license fee to demanding that it end all popular programming so as not to "compete" with the private sector.
Internally, the BBC is torn between the timid, go-along-to-get-along types who want to keep their heads down, not antogonise the death-eaters, and try to rebuild from whatever rubble remains in 2020; and the bold ones who understand that the only way to save the Beeb is to fight for every inch, making the Tories pay in blood and reputation for every slash to one of the country's most beloved institutions.
Opendemocracy solicited 100 ideas for a bold BBC future, asking the likes of Philip Pullman, Jeanette Winterson, Brian Eno, Jessica Horn, Ian McEwan, Nigel Warburton, and me. You can vote on your favourite ideas. Here's what I said:
The BBC should open its archive of treasures from history, bought with license-payers' money over decades, making them available for free watching and remixing, creating a new generation of British digital creators — contrast this with commissioning policies that result in everything being locked up after one or two viewings, in order to optimise the Beeb to sell video-on-demand services to Americans.
The Beeb could lead the world's public service broadcasters here, forming a grand coalition through which every civilised nation (that is, every nation with a publicly funded broadcaster) makes its archive available to all the others on remixable, shareable terms, creating an almost unimaginably huge pool of public video, audio, stills, and games that are available throughout the world.
Further, countries that are "less developed" and "least developed" in the UN's rankings could use these archives to bootstrap their own media creations, giving raw materials to creators from all walks of life in a grand public conversation, with public assets, in public spaces.
100 Ideas for the BBC [Opendemocracy]