I actually think this is pretty reasonable - everybody I know consumes BBC content in some form (most of them without paying the license fee) and it's a small price to pay for the presence of an impartial news source.
I don't. I had an EyeTV card but the licensing for the software is despicable and after losing the serial number I couldn't get it reactivated after rebuilding the same Mac. I used to use BBC iPlayer instead but I don't these days, as I use a VPN and Hulu or similar sites for 80% of what I want to watch.
There's no such thing as an impartial news source. Your best bet is to get a range and understand the biases involved. I'm not saying that bias is a bad thing with the BBC, but understanding it's existence is as important as understanding biases in the Guardian and Telegraph's reporting when it comes to consuming news.
How can an organization be impartial if the members of its board are appointed by the government and its funding is renegotiated every year?
We saw in 2003 what happens when the BBC disagrees with the government. The government wins. A minor mistake by a single reporter was excuse enough to get the entire BBC leadership fired for its criticism of the Iraq war.
Apparently impartiality means to shut up when the Prime Minister lies to parliament and to the nation.
I agree with this. 9 years ago when I moved to the UK (from New Zealand) I didn't quite understand the paying for the license thing. Now I realise that the BBC provides so much useful content that I'm more than happy to pay for it.
We don't watch live to air anymore, but we do use the heck out of iPlayer.
When it came around to renewing the license a few months ago, we made the conscious decision to renew it, even though we legally didn't need to (no sat receiver, no aerial).
I know a lot of people will call us stupid for doing so, but I'm also convinced that the BBC will lobby (or whatever they need to do) for changes to the licensing laws once the UK officially is out of the economic danger zone.
> I know a lot of people will call us stupid for doing so, but I'm also convinced that the BBC will lobby (or whatever they need to do) for changes to the licensing laws once the UK officially is out of the economic danger zone.
I'm not entirely sure where you've got this idea from, but you do realise that the bulk of the BBC's funding comes from the licence fee, and that TVL (the organisation that sends nasty letters through the post if you don't have TV) is part of the BBC, right?