Poll: 'Public is proud of the BBC'

Monday, September 7 2009, 10:42 BST

By Andrew Laughlin,

The public has given its widespread backing for the BBC, with four out of five people indicating that they are proud of the corporation, new research suggests.

According to an ICM/Guardian poll, 77% of people said that the BBC is an institution to take pride in, increasing from 68% in a similar survey in 2004.

Sky chairman James Murdoch recently criticised the state of British broadcasting in his keynote MacTaggart lecture at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.

In his speech, Murdoch said that the BBC is unable "to distinguish what is good for it, and what is good for the country", and also called for a greater embracing of private enterprise in public service broadcasting.

However, 63% of the 1,001 respondents indicated that the corporation represents good value for money, up by 4% on figures from five years ago.

When asked whether the BBC is trustworthy, 69% said yes, up from 60% in 2004. The survey also indicated that 38% of people believe that the BBC is more likely to tell the truth compared to its rival broadcasters.

Five chief executive Dawn Airey recently said that the BBC should charge people to access its online services, particularly its website, in order to improve market competition.

However, only 16% of respondents backed this approach, compared to 79% who opposed it. Support among respondents for the licence fee also increased from 31% in 2004 to 43% today, with just 30% backing a subscription-based model for the corporation.

After recent controversy about the salaries paid to its top talent, the poll indicated that 49% of people believe the BBC should not have to declare its pay arrangements, compared to 50% who said that it should.