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Is that a bad thing or a good thing?

Seamus McCauley

For whom? I would be pressed to make the case that there's a gap in the market for a public service newspaper currently unfilled by the commercial sector.

Martin Belam

I was at a meeting two or three years back when Mark Thompson actually stated that the BBC had become a newspaper publisher. I guess the main thing of course is that, from a regulatory point of view, they never *asked* anyone if it was OK to do it. Mind you, you could argue that The Telegraph and The Guardian never asked Ofcom whether it was OK for them to launch a TV channel or a radio station respectively either, but they are both sort of doing that on the web with telegraph.tv and the Guardian's podcasts.

Jem Stone (BBC)

Ah that brings it back...Emily Bell (Guardian) used to make this point frequently in her columns. "The BBC has created the world's largest online newspaper without any such consultation..." (2005)

Incidentally we started "writing down the news" over a decade ago now...

Seamus McCauley

Jem - indeed she did. I seem to have comprehensively forfeited any claim to originality on this one! Still...I don't think my point is entirely repetition since as the BBC takes its news offering ever more mobile, the competition with newspapers becomes increasingly direct.

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