Producer Choice in a nutshell

What did those on the inside of TVC think of Producer Choice? That is, an internal market which benefits third parties (private companies) and offers government oversight to protect the taxpayer. On the one hand, some supported the policy as it supposedly gave producers more freedom and enabled the BBC to be more transparent and open with the British public with regards to BBC spending. On the other hand, many opposed it and claimed that the so-called 'freedom' for producers never materialised, costs increased dramatically and the introduction of the internal market just added more bureaucracy with little benefit. So when the policy was disbanded, in many areas of the BBC there were sighs of relief. John Plunkett (Guardian, 2006) describes Producer Choice as 'two words to strike fear into the heart of any BBC programme maker, but a source of endless stories about bureaucratic excess at the corporation for media journalists' and the writer triumphantly announces that Lord Birt's policy was 'finally coming to an end.'

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