Lord Patten, the chairman of the BBC Trust has defended the size of the corporation’s news activities following comments from culture secretary Jeremy Hunt that it might be too powerful.
Hunt told the Guardian newspaper that it was difficult to work out how the BBC fits into his decision to ask communications regulator Ofcom to review cross-media ownership rules in Britain. He said it had to be established whether the BBC’s governance structures sufficiently protect the public against one media organisation being too dominant.
Patten responded by telling the Royal Television Society conference in Cambridge that the quality of the BBC’s news output was a major benefit for the British public. Attempting to prove how popular BBC news is, he said the corporation produced a quarter of Britain’s TV and radio news and received three-quarters of the audience.