Defining Public Value : Mark Thompson (29 Aug 2004)
For me the most important question facing the BBC right now is not a managerial one but a creative one: how do we take Building Public Value and turn it into reality on our TV channels and radio stations and web pages?
In other words, how do we take this vision of the BBC as a catalyst of democracy, education, our collective cultural life, social cohesion and the rest of it, and make it something which - yes, the regulators and the civil servants can try to measure with their shiny new micrometers - but which, more importantly than that, delivers tangible value to the public, who may not show much interest in the finer details of broadcasting accountability or economics, but who - and this is supported by Ofcom's recent survey - have a very clear idea about what public service means to them, and about whether the BBC's living up to it or not.
I'd certainly pay more attention to our audiences than to those who believe that every aspect of public service broadcasting can be anatomised and codified: as Nietzsche said, in a remark which Bernard Williams was fond of, "the only things that are definable are those that have no history".
Article URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/speeches/stories/thompson_edinburgh04.shtml
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