The longevity of the BBC is comparable to that of no other broadcasting medium. It was first the first national radio station in history, then the most important media in the United Kingdom. Even today, one hundred years after its birth, the BBC is essential in the country, but also beyond: its antennas broadcast in more than forty languages and guarantee it a phenomenal audience. Half a billion people listen to, watch or read the BBC at least once a week.
However, this British heavyweight is not as solid as this figure might suggest. Since its creation, the political attacks of the powerful, from Winston Churchill to Boris Johnson via Margaret Thatcher, have dealt hard blows to the institution: its independence is targeted, but also its budget, which suffers regular cuts. This endangers the survival of this age-old medium. In September, the BBC announced the elimination of 382 posts.
How did the BBC establish itself in the British and then world media landscape? How to explain its longevity, as well on the radio as on television? And what are the risks it faces today? In this episode of the “L’Heure du Monde” podcast, Eric Albert, correspondent for World in London tells us about a century of BBC history.
An episode of Garance Muñoz. Production and original music: Amandine Robillard. Presentation and editor-in-chief: Jean-Guillaume Santi. In this episode: BBC Archives.
“The Hour of the World”
“L’Heure du Monde” is the daily news podcast of the World. Listen every day, from 6 a.m., to a new episode, on Lemonde.fr or on Spotify. Find all the episodes here.
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Also listen “The Crown”: a certain look at the British monarchy