The Guardian reports that the British Forces Broadcasting Service, for years a lifeline for members of the armed forces and their families, is to be put out to tender to competitive bidders. The report continues:
The decision, part of attempts by the Ministry of Defence to make savings, has raised concerns that large military contractors with no experience of objective news reporting or radio and television production could bid to run the service as a money-making scheme. Critics of the decision expressed concern that the values and ethos of the broadcasting station would be lost.
Contractors thought to be interested in bidding include Babcock, Serco and BT. The MoD, after lengthy internal debate, is due to publish a statement of its broadcasting requirements soon, say BFBS sources, opening up its services to external suppliers for the first time since it began in 1943.
The MoD said that the service would be put out to tender shortly, with the successful bidder taking over in 2013. ...
- Full Guardian story by Maggie Brown and Richard Norton-Taylor: Objectivity could go as British Forces Broadcasting Service contracted out
- BFBS main website portal
- New BFBS British Forces News website