MEDIA: Can the BBC defend public service broadcasting?

During October the BBC is asking viewers to vote for our favourite programmes, as part of its plans to drag us into marking 60 years of television. The celebration leads to a gala night, Auntie’s All Time Greats, when Kermit the Frog will be honoured alongside Sir Robin Day, while disasters such as Rhodes will be airbrushed into TV oblivion. I intensely dislike these manufactured anniversaries, especially since an institution so rich in popular cultural history as the BBC can cynically conjure up a special event whenever it needs to turn the spotlight on its flattering features - sometimes as a diversion from current problems.

by MAGGIE BROWN

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