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British Goverment to Reshape BBC Governance

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the and-now-for-something-completely-different dept.

Media 587

AtariAmarok writes "The British government recently announced plans to reshape how the BBC is governed.. The changes are said to scrap the system that has been in place for 77 years. Some are worried that the independence of the "Beeb" could be compromised, and Conservative lawmakers are worried that it does not allow for enough oversight (leaves it too independent?)."

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587 comments

Oversight (4, Interesting)

szlevente (705483) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832316)

Not enough oversight?? What about freedom of expression and speech?

Re:Oversight (-1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832338)

Ok, I'm about as conservative as they come, but I would really like to see governments keep their damn hands out of censorship or regulating any kind of media. If people want to watch BBC's biased coverage, GOOD! Let them. If there's a demand for something else, another station will fill it. It's the same as the senator guy from Alaska wanting to regulate cable and satellites. I say leave it all alone and let the media market self-regulate.

Re:Oversight (4, Insightful)

millwall (622730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832379)

If people want to watch BBC's biased coverage, GOOD! Let them. If there's a demand for something else, another station will fill it.

I'm not speaking for or against goverment regulated media. But something that is not always mentioned in this debate is that a self-regulated media merket seems to produce even more biased reporting than the government regulated ones.

This seems to defeat the whole argument about freedom of speech - let the media market regulate itself.

n.b: please don't mod this as a troll, i just wanted to raise this issue in the discussion.

Re:Oversight (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832400)

Biased? Why do Americans have this view of the BBC? Either that or you yanks say it's too 'liberal'? WTF!?! The beeb is as straight laced, stuffy and conservative as they come!

Re:Oversight (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832412)

You have to remember that American politics is comprised or two parties. One of those is poltically to the right, while the other is to the far right. When your middle ground is somewhere Musolini would have been comfortable you can't blame the poor things for thinking the BBC is "liberal". Of course we also need to remember that in American politics, "liberal" is a word used to mean "scary and not at all in the best interests of my friends on the board of directors" rather the more normal meaning of "progressive".

Re:Oversight (5, Insightful)

gerardlt (529702) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832426)

Actually, for true independence, I think it's important to have both. Markets do not self-regulate for everyone's benefit - they do it for their own benefit.

An advertising-funded media will always be thinking about where the money is coming from, and won't want to upset its biggest funders. And, if you think the BBC is biased, try looking at some of the 'independent' newspapers in the UK.

A nationally funded broadcaster does not need to worry about large companies taking their funding away. And if you think that they aren't going to broadcast anything critical of the government - well there's always the 'independent' channels that can do that.

Re:Oversight (5, Insightful)

term8or (576787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832431)

Ok, I'm about as conservative as they come, but I would really like to see governments keep their damn hands out of censorship or regulating any kind of media. If people want to watch BBC's biased coverage, GOOD! Let them. If there's a demand for something else, another station will fill it. It's the same as the senator guy from Alaska wanting to regulate cable and satellites. I say leave it all alone and let the media market self-regulate.


Let's look at what's wrong with this:

1: The BBC is funded by the British taxpayer.
2: The BBC is (in Britain at least) a public sector organisation that has always been regulated in accordance with a charter agreed between itself and the government.
3: The BBC is required BY BRITITSH LAW to provided UNBIASED political broadcasting.
4: The BBC is not subjected to market pressures. The main bulk of its operation is not funded by advertising or by consumer purchase, but by a tax on owning a TV set in Britain which is paid regardless of whether you actually use the BBC.
5: The BBC is not directly censored by any organisation outside the BBC.
The overt purpose of funding the BBC is to provide unbiased news, politics, public sector broadcasting as well as entertainment and educational programming that might otherwise not be available. The negotiation of the charter with the BBC is to ensure that it fulfils this purpose, and that it regulates itself in accordance with its purpose.

Re:Oversight (5, Insightful)

Psiren (6145) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832339)

What about freedom of expression and speech?

Why do these discussions always come down to these issues? Did it occur to you that the oversight might have something to do with management of the BBC. That has little to do with free speech.

Re:Oversight (1)

szlevente (705483) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832371)

Management of the national television by the government. Now that will sure spice things up a bit. And if they dare to say something not really to the current power's taste, then what?

what do you think? (4, Insightful)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832391)

...they'll introduce arguments like this and try to take the licence fee away from them. The reason this is happening is because the BBC had the temerity to question the Hutton report into the WMD in Iraq issue.

Re:Oversight (1)

mar1boro (189737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832442)

I don't know about "these discussions," but this discussion is most certainly about freedom of the press. Whether true or not it was the Hutton Report [bbc.co.uk] that started all of this. The BBC implicated Tony Blair's government in some shady dealings, and these actions are the big payback. They are bringing the BBC to heel.

Re:Oversight (1)

Metatron (21064) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832487)

However had the BBC been proven correct, then this would not have happened. This is about processes within the BBC and areas in which it failed ... it is NOT being bought to heel because it reported about a government cock up, hell it does that all the time.

Re:Oversight (3, Insightful)

gerardlt (529702) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832468)

Exactly. The oversight is in recognition that the British people are basically required to pay the license fee. Because they don't have a lot of choice, the government has to make sure that they (the people, not the government) are getting value for money, without getting directly involved and being accused of controlling the BBC.

Right-wing pressure explains the Conservative view (4, Interesting)

CdBee (742846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832399)

The BBC as a public institution is bound by law and common custom to be representative of the people and to support/represent equality of religion/race/lifestyle/sexuality.

The British Tory or Conservative party is roughly analogous to Republicans in the US in that it holds "traditional values", many of which conflict with the modern egalitarian ethic of the BBC.

The British Right-wing, led primarily by tabloid newspapers such as the Daily Mail (politically somewhere to the right of Genghis Kahn..), has been leading an anti-BBC campaign for some time now as they don't want to see a state-run broadcaster "supporting" rights that they wish to abolish or diminish, such as equality of gay and straight relationships before the law, or equal attention in schools for minority faiths.

Re:Right-wing pressure explains the Conservative v (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832443)

You over complicate matters. Newspapers such as the The Sun don't like the BBC because they're owned by one News International, who in turn are owned by News Corp. which is run by one Mr. Robert Maxwell. It's no doubt just one huge coincedence that News Corp. just happens to own 36% of BSkyB, a commercial competitor to the BBC.

The Daily Maul don't like the BBC because they don't like anything or any body, especially if they're a damn foreigner or under 55 years of age. The BBC don't show Come Dancing and The Antiques Roadshow as much as they used to you see.

Re:Right-wing pressure explains the Conservative v (3, Informative)

hoofie (201045) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832470)

I think you mean Rupert Murdoch - Mr. Maxwell threw a seven and drowned after falling [allegedly...] off his yacht in the Med.

Re:Right-wing pressure explains the Conservative v (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832480)

It seems I brain farted and mixed up Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch. It's an easy mistake to make, although one can only hope Mr. Murdoch might make his demise just as entertaining as Mr. Maxwell..

Re:Right-wing pressure explains the Conservative v (2, Insightful)

philbert26 (705644) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832469)

The BBC as a public institution is bound by law and common custom to be representative of the people and to support/represent equality of religion/race/lifestyle/sexuality.

So you agree that there needs to be public oversight of the BBC. If the BBC was truly independent there would be no way to make sure that it kept to the standards you mention above.

Re:Oversight (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832416)

Not enough oversight?? What about freedom of expression and speech?
To be realistic, the BBC is one of the most biased, pro-Maxist media organisations in the world. Their news coverage obsesses over a handful of international issues, namely George Bush, Israel, Jews, Arabs and neo-NAZIs, to the almost total exclusion of anything else. People always carry on about how biased Fox News is. It is. But the BBC is no better. Imho it has become full of embittered leftist idealists who've gone into journalism as some kind of personal crusade. The British public is paying money for this organisation, and it's telling people how to think.

Long time coming (3, Informative)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832319)

Similar reform acts to the british media have been coming for a long time now. The first major whole hearted attempt came in the mid-80s. It is interesting because each time they get closer to actually getting it done but fall through in the end.

I say cheers to the thought of an independent British Broadcasting company. I know the goverments regulation over them as been decreasing in recent years but the changes that are in the pipes have been a long time coming.

Re:Long time coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832336)

Oh, but ya gotta know it's a slow news night when we're reading about the BBC. Sheesh people!

Re:Long time coming (3, Insightful)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832351)

"Independent" would be great, but media companies have to be funded somehow. Depending on your definition of independent, there may be issues.

For instance, I've become quite aware of the pro-business stance of Australia's commercial channels recently, and the only conclusion I can come to is that they don't want to jeopardise their ad revenue by emphasising bad stories about business (HIH, Telstra etc..). The ABC, Australia's analogue of the BBC, has no such restraint and regularly skewers business, and to be perfectly fair to them they also do the same to government. I remember the BBC being similarly willing to skewer anyone regardless of any backroom diplomacy, as part of the Beeb's grand tradition. It would be a crying shame to see this change because of a change in oversight rules.

However, from the article I see the Licence Fee funding for the BBC will stay in place, which would mitigate some of these concerns for my former home's broadcaster, thank the stars, however I'm sure we'll see some changes in how reporting is handled.

The British "Cheers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832362)

Okay, I'm an American and spent a few days over in Manchester last December. What is it with you guys using "cheers" as "thanks" or some other similarly short and precise word?

Me: Excuse me, miss. You dropped your book.
Her: Oh, cheers!

Me: I'd like two pints of whatever local brew you've got.
Bartender: Cheers!

Me: So I'll catch you later tonight!
Man U student: You bet, Cheers!

I used to think that English is what the English spoke, but you guys seem to be speaking something completely different.

Re:The British "Cheers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832461)

The word "cheers" is just as short and precise as "thanks". I fail to see your problem.

I used to think that English is what the English spoke

It is, but the colonies are always behind with the times. By the way, please note the correct spelling of the word "through". We know you sometimes have trouble with your three R's but "thru" simply isn't a word.

Re:The British "Cheers" (1)

hplasm (576983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832476)

Example 1: This is quite new and uses Cheers! as a friendly Thanks!

Example 2: This is the traditional drinking toast use of Cheers!

Example 3:This is a contraction of the quaint British farewell, Cheerio!

easy come, easy goo (-1, Troll)

already_gone (848753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832320)

free martha, do it now.

24-Feb-05 LEWIS, BRIAN E 11,579 Planned Sale $2,165,8511 24-Feb-05 ROSING, WAYNE Senior Vice President 5,000 Automatic Sale at $189.05 - $189.23 per share. $946,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT FAMILY LVNG TR UAD 1/30/97 (THE) 253,290 Planned Sale $50,138,7551 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT INVESTMENT LP 75,000 Planned Sale $14,846,2501 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 809 Automatic Sale at $195.10 - $195.56 per share. $158,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 913 Automatic Sale at $194.60 - $195.08 per share. $178,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 685 Automatic Sale at $192.60 - $194.58 per share. $133,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 912 Automatic Sale at $192.06 - $192.57 per share. $175,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 1,761 Automatic Sale at $191.66 - $192.03 per share. $338,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 1,325 Automatic Sale at $190.64 - $191.64 per share. $253,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 5,000 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 42,215 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 1,778 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 12,500 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 3,088 Automatic Sale at $197.71 - $198.74 per share. $612,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 3,808 Automatic Sale at $197.10 - $197.7 per share. $752,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 5,378 Automatic Sale at $196.62 - $197.08 per share. $1,059,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 4,737 Automatic Sale at $196.29 - $196.61 per share. $931,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 3,502 Automatic Sale at $195.58 - $196.28 per share. $686,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 2,750 Automatic Sale at $195.10 - $195.56 per share. $537,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 3,091 Automatic Sale at $194.60 - $195.08 per share. $602,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 2,340 Automatic Sale at $192.60 - $194.58 per share. $453,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 3,092 Automatic Sale at $192.06 - $192.57 per share. $595,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 5,954 Automatic Sale at $191.66 - $192.03 per share. $1,142,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 4,475 Automatic Sale at $190.64 - $191.64 per share. $855,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 129 Automatic Sale at $197.71 - $198.74 per share. $26,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 160 Automatic Sale at $197.10 - $197.7 per share. $32,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 206 Automatic Sale at $196.62 - $197.08 per share. $41,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 204 Automatic Sale at $196.29 - $196.61 per share. $40,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 152 Automatic Sale at $195.58 - $196.28 per share. $30,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 120 Automatic Sale at $195.10 - $195.56 per share. $23,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 134 Automatic Sale at $194.60 - $195.08 per share. $26,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 102 Automatic Sale at $192.60 - $194.58 per share. $20,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 135 Automatic Sale at $192.06 - $192.57 per share. $26,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 245 Automatic Sale at $191.66 - $192.03 per share. $47,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 191 Automatic Sale at $190.64 - $191.64 per share. $37,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 917 Automatic Sale at $197.71 - $198.74 per share. $182,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 1,128 Automatic Sale at $197.10 - $197.7 per share. $223,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 1,612 Automatic Sale at $196.62 - $197.08 per share. $317,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 1,402 Automatic Sale at $196.29 - $196.61 per share. $275,0002 22-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chairman 1,036 Automatic Sale at $195.58 - $196.28 per share. $203,0002 22-Feb-05 LEWIS, BRIAN E & DEBORAH JTWROS 18,012 Planned Sale $3,549,2641 18-Feb-05 GEE LIVING TRUST 50,000 Planned Sale $9,850,0001 18-Feb-05 GUNTHER, CRAIG 161 Planned Sale $31,7921 17-Feb-05 GEE LIVING TRUST 20,000 Planned Sale $3,940,0001 17-Feb-05 COHEN, MIKAEL 2,703 Planned Sale $531,6261 17-Feb-05 WALLEY, EDWARD Employee 4,333 Planned Sale $858,1071 17-Feb-05 COHEN-PEREZ, RACHEL 10,808 Planned Sale $2,141,6051 17-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 1,259 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 17-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 32,334 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 17-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 33,593 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 17-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 201,920 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 17-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 201,920 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 17-Feb-05 DRUMMOND, DAVID C. General Counsel 49 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 16-Feb-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Beneficial Owner (10% or more) 82,900 Automatic Sale at $197.65 - $199.1 per share. $16,445,0002 16-Feb-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 57,100 Automatic Sale at $195.25 - $197.6 per share. $11,216,0002 16-Feb-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Beneficial Owner (10% or more) 140,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 16-Feb-05 KOCH, MAX Employee 583 Planned Sale $113,1021 16-Feb-05 M1104 TRUST 40,000 Planned Sale $7,600,0001 16-Feb-05 GEE LIVING TRUST 20,000 Planned Sale $3,900,0001 15-Feb-05 DOUGHERTY, NANCY & DALE 2,500 Planned Sale $489,1641 15-Feb-05 O'REILLY & ASSOCIATES INC. 9,000 Planned Sale $1,762,0001 15-Feb-05 AXE, BRIAN P. 6,000 Planned Sale $1,176,3001 15-Feb-05 BURNS, KATHERINE 6,432 Planned Sale $1,260,6251 15-Feb-05 FISCHER, DAVID B. Employee 465 Planned Sale $91,8581 15-Feb-05 DRUMMOND, DAVID C. General Counsel 40,100 Automatic Sale at $198 - $198.05 per share. $7,941,0002 15-Feb-05 HALLETT, BRUCE 3,859 Planned Sale $733,2101 15-Feb-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 34,000 Automatic Sale at $197.10 - $199.56 per share. $6,743,0002 15-Feb-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 51,000 Automatic Sale at $195.67 - $197 per share. $10,013,0002 15-Feb-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 32,000 Automatic Sale at $193.50 - $195.63 per share. $6,226,0002 15-Feb-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 117,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 15-Feb-05 DRUMMOND-BERK LIVING TRUST 40,100 Planned Sale $7,939,8001 14-Feb-05 CAHN, KAREN 23,032 Planned Sale $4,254,9311 14-Feb-05 ARMSTRONG, TIM 2004 GRAT Vice President 50,000 Planned Sale $9,281,0001 14-Feb-05 GUNTHER, CRAIG 322 Planned Sale $61,5501 14-Feb-05 ARMSTRONG, TIM Vice President 400,000 Planned Sale $74,063,2401 14-Feb-05 VUKOVATZ, SUSAN QUALIFIED ANNUITY TR'03 (MARLA) 16,866 Planned Sale $3,204,5401 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANY CHILRENS IRREV TR'01 MISHA N. (O&B) 25,818 Planned Sale $4,905,4201 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANY CHILRENS IRREV TR'01 MILAN M. (O&B) 25,818 Planned Sale $4,905,4201 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMIE & DARYABARI, B. TR'01 (O&B) 525,627 Planned Sale $100,000,0001 14-Feb-05 GRACE, BERYL L. ANNUITY TR (BG) 6,666 Planned Sale $1,333,2001 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE QUALIFIED ANNUITY TR '03(RP) Officer 16,866 Planned Sale $3,204,5401 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J. ANNUITY TR '03 (JR) 6,666 Planned Sale $1,333,2001 14-Feb-05 GEE LIVING TRUST 20,000 Planned Sale $3,800,0001 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, J & GRACE, B TTEES/R & G TR AGMNT 5/98 82,728 Planned Sale $16,545,6001 14-Feb-05 REYES, G & VUKOVATZ, S TTEES/R.V. REV TR 99 Officer 68,478 Planned Sale $13,010,8201 14-Feb-05 BROWN, SHONA L 17,633 Planned Sale $3,314,6571 14-Feb-05 HO, EVA Employee 2,250 Planned Sale N/A 14-Feb-05 THOMAS, MARGARET J. 1,700 Planned Sale N/A 14-Feb-05 COLEMAN, PATRICK 16,110 Planned Sale $3,000,0001 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 513 Automatic Sale at $186.12 - $187.61 per share. $96,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 929 Automatic Sale at $185.73 - $186.11 per share. $173,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 1,195 Automatic Sale at $181.05 - $185.72 per share. $219,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 116,667 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 2,558 Automatic Sale at $190.26 - $191.14 per share. $488,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 3,611 Automatic Sale at $189.50 - $190.25 per share. $686,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 2,310 Automatic Sale at $188.75 - $189.49 per share. $437,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 3,611 Automatic Sale at $187.63 - $188.73 per share. $680,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 2,096 Automatic Sale at $186.12 - $187.61 per share. $392,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 3,778 Automatic Sale at $185.73 - $186.11 per share. $702,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 4,862 Automatic Sale at $181.05 - $185.72 per share. $892,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 639 Automatic Sale at $190.26 - $191.14 per share. $122,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 893 Automatic Sale at $189.50 - $190.25 per share. $170,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 563 Automatic Sale at $188.75 - $189.49 per share. $106,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 889 Automatic Sale at $187.63 - $188.73 per share. $167,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 513 Automatic Sale at $186.12 - $187.61 per share. $96,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 929 Automatic Sale at $185.73 - $186.11 per share. $173,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 1,196 Automatic Sale at $181.05 - $185.72 per share. $219,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 636 Automatic Sale at $190.26 - $191.14 per share. $121,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 898 Automatic Sale at $189.50 - $190.25 per share. $171,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 563 Automatic Sale at $188.75 - $189.49 per share. $106,0002 14-Feb-05 REYES, GEORGE Chief Financial Officer 888 Automatic Sale at $187.63 - $188.73 per share. $167,0002 14-Feb-05 KUMAR, SUNIL Private or Shareholder 6,000 Planned Sale $1,140,0001 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 3,310 Automatic Sale at $190.26 - $191.14 per share. $631,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 4,676 Automatic Sale at $189.50 - $190.25 per share. $888,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 3,004 Automatic Sale at $188.75 - $189.49 per share. $568,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 4,684 Automatic Sale at $187.63 - $188.73 per share. $881,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 2,709 Automatic Sale at $186.12 - $187.61 per share. $506,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 4,895 Automatic Sale at $185.73 - $186.11 per share. $910,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 6,298 Automatic Sale at $181.05 - $185.72 per share. $1,155,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 248 Automatic Sale at $190.26 - $191.14 per share. $47,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 348 Automatic Sale at $189.50 - $190.25 per share. $66,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 229 Automatic Sale at $188.75 - $189.49 per share. $43,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 351 Automatic Sale at $187.63 - $188.73 per share. $66,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 207 Automatic Sale at $186.12 - $187.61 per share. $39,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 364 Automatic Sale at $185.73 - $186.11 per share. $68,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 475 Automatic Sale at $181.05 - $185.72 per share. $87,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 247 Automatic Sale at $190.26 - $191.14 per share. $47,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 349 Automatic Sale at $189.50 - $190.25 per share. $66,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 229 Automatic Sale at $188.75 - $189.49 per share. $43,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 351 Automatic Sale at $187.63 - $188.73 per share. $66,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 207 Automatic Sale at $186.12 - $187.61 per share. $39,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 364 Automatic Sale at $185.73 - $186.11 per share. $68,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 475 Automatic Sale at $181.05 - $185.72 per share. $87,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSENBERG, JONATHAN J Officer 34,334 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 1,828 Automatic Sale at $181.05 - $185.72 per share. $335,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 201,920 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 19,516 Automatic Sale at $190.26 - $191.14 per share. $3,722,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 27,699 Automatic Sale at $189.50 - $190.25 per share. $5,259,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 17,750 Automatic Sale at $188.75 - $189.49 per share. $3,357,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 27,775 Automatic Sale at $187.63 - $188.73 per share. $5,227,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 16,075 Automatic Sale at $186.12 - $187.61 per share. $3,004,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 29,051 Automatic Sale at $185.73 - $186.11 per share. $5,401,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 37,343 Automatic Sale at $181.05 - $185.72 per share. $6,848,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 959 Automatic Sale at $190.26 - $191.14 per share. $183,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 1,373 Automatic Sale at $189.50 - $190.25 per share. $261,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 875 Automatic Sale at $188.75 - $189.49 per share. $165,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 1,366 Automatic Sale at $187.63 - $188.73 per share. $257,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 786 Automatic Sale at $186.12 - $187.61 per share. $147,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 1,419 Automatic Sale at $185.73 - $186.11 per share. $264,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 1,828 Automatic Sale at $181.05 - $185.72 per share. $335,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 958 Automatic Sale at $190.26 - $191.14 per share. $183,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 1,373 Automatic Sale at $189.50 - $190.25 per share. $261,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 877 Automatic Sale at $188.75 - $189.49 per share. $166,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 1,365 Automatic Sale at $187.63 - $188.73 per share. $257,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 786 Automatic Sale at $186.12 - $187.61 per share. $147,0002 14-Feb-05 KORDESTANI, OMID Officer 1,419 Automatic Sale at $185.73 - $186.11 per share. $264,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSING, WAYNE Senior Vice President 18,100 Automatic Sale at $184.50 - $192.19 per share. $3,409,0002 14-Feb-05 ROSING, WAYNE Senior Vice President 6,900 Automatic Sale at $184 - $184.51 per share. $1,271,0002 14-Feb-05 GARCIA-MOLINA, HECTOR 549 Planned Sale $103,1351 14-Feb-05 TABASGO LIVING TST (BESSEMER TR AGT) 50,000 Planned Sale $9,370,0001 14-Feb-05 BROWN, SHONA L Vice President 5,233 Automatic Sale at $189.52 - $192.8 per share. $1,000,0002 14-Feb-05 BROWN, SHONA L Vice President 4,900 Automatic Sale at $186.24 - $189.48 per share. $921,0002 14-Feb-05 BROWN, SHONA L Vice President 4,500 Automatic Sale at $184.56 - $186.17 per share. $834,0002 14-Feb-05 BROWN, SHONA L Vice President 3,000 Automatic Sale at $181.92 - $184.55 per share. $550,0002 14-Feb-05 CHI, JOSEPH 1,287 Planned Sale $241,9301 14-Feb-05 WEISSMAN, ADAM J Employee 451,707 Planned Sale $87,134,2801 14-Feb-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 76,500 Automatic Sale at $188.90 - $192.5 per share. $14,589,0002 14-Feb-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 66,500 Automatic Sale at $185.70 - $188.51 per share. $12,442,0002 14-Feb-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 143,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 14-Feb-05 COHEN, DANIEL 1,288 Planned Sale $238,5421 14-Feb-05 COHEN, DANIELE 1,288 Planned Sale $238,5371 11-Feb-05 SANDBERG, SHERYL 1,200 Planned Sale $228,6121 11-Feb-05 MATT'S, JAMES 150 Planned Sale $28,6121 10-Feb-05 HENNESSY, JOHN TTEE/REV TR 93 Director 2,698 Planned Sale $512,8361 10-Feb-05 SHRIRAM, KAVITARK RAM 300,000 Planned Sale $57,474,0001 10-Feb-05 HENNESSY,JOHN L Director 2,698 Sale at $190.08 per share. $512,835 10-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 10,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 10-Feb-05 SHRIRAM KAVITARK RAM Director 91,898 Automatic Sale at $188.85 - $191.54 per share. $17,479,0002 10-Feb-05 SHRIRAM KAVITARK RAM Director 79,902 Automatic Sale at $187.70 - $188.77 per share. $15,040,0002 10-Feb-05 SHRIRAM KAVITARK RAM Director 78,200 Automatic Sale at $185.75 - $187.5 per share. $14,594,0002 10-Feb-05 SHRIRAM KAVITARK RAM Director 250,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 9-Feb-05 BRIN, SERGEY President 47,500 Automatic Sale at $200.43 - $201.5 per share. $9,546,0002 9-Feb-05 BRIN, SERGEY President 76,800 Automatic Sale at $194.51 - $200.42 per share. $15,165,0002 9-Feb-05 BRIN, SERGEY President 58,200 Automatic Sale at $189.90 - $194.5 per share. $11,186,0002 9-Feb-05 BRIN, SERGEY President 182,500 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 8-Feb-05 BAI, DEQI 1,000 Planned Sale $198,0001 8-Feb-05 PANIER, STEPHANE 1,000 Planned Sale $200,0001 8-Feb-05 BRIN, SERGEY President 82,600 Automatic Sale at $198.35 - $200 per share. $16,452,0002 8-Feb-05 BRIN, SERGEY President 84,900 Automatic Sale at $195 - $198.25 per share. $16,693,0002 8-Feb-05 BRIN, SERGEY President 167,500 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 8-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 34,116 Automatic Sale at $198.33 - $198.61 per share. $6,771,0002 8-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 29,321 Automatic Sale at $198.13 - $198.32 per share. $5,812,0002 8-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 63,437 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 7-Feb-05 DOERR, L. JOHN 150,000 Planned Sale $29,400,0001 7-Feb-05 BOTTOMLEY, EMMA Employee 750 Planned Sale $157,5001 7-Feb-05 AXE, BRIAN P. 2,000 Planned Sale $410,5401 7-Feb-05 BRIN, SERGEY President 50,000 Automatic Sale at $195.85 - $205.75 per share. $10,040,0002 7-Feb-05 BRIN, SERGEY President 50,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 7-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 36,983 Automatic Sale at $200.57 - $201.5 per share. $7,435,0002 7-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 35,080 Automatic Sale at $199.25 - $200.5569 per share. $7,013,0002 7-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 14,500 Automatic Sale at $198.84 - $199.23 per share. $2,886,0002 7-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 86,563 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 4-Feb-05 FRUCHTMAN, HOANG 2004 GRAT Employee 500 Planned Sale $102,9181 4-Feb-05 GEE LIVING TRUST 20,000 Planned Sale $4,100,0001 4-Feb-05 FRUCHTMAN, TAMAR Employee 500 Planned Sale $102,9181 4-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 10,012,657 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 4-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 12,789 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 4-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 12,789 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 4-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 784 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 3-Feb-05 KIMBALL, ANDREW JR 100 Planned Sale $20,5001 3-Feb-05 SHRIRAM KAVITARK RAM Director 7,566 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 3-Feb-05 HENNESSY,JOHN L Director 6,051 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 3-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 15,131 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 3-Feb-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 4,953 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 2-Feb-05 HUANG, JENNIFER Private or Shareholder 735 Planned Sale $157,2901 2-Feb-05 YEN, FRANCIS Private or Shareholder 588 Planned Sale $125,8321 2-Feb-05 WONG, WALIANA Private or Shareholder 10 Planned Sale $2,1501 2-Feb-05 LIU, VALERIE Private or Shareholder 510 Planned Sale $107,6101 2-Feb-05 WONG, WASHINGTON Private or Shareholder 10 Planned Sale $2,1501 1-Feb-05 MICHALSKI, GERALD & JENNIFER 1,100 Planned Sale $210,1001 1-Feb-05 ROGERS, JORDAN 225 Planned Sale $42,9751 1-Feb-05 WONG, KEUNG Private or Shareholder 20 Planned Sale $3,8601 1-Feb-05 KONG, MONICA Private or Shareholder 143 Planned Sale $27,5991 1-Feb-05 DOERR, L JOHN Director 9,950,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) N/A 31-Jan-05 MORITZ, MICHAEL J. Director 14,182,641 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 31-Jan-05 MORITZ, MICHAEL J. Director 182,088 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 31-Jan-05 MORITZ, MICHAEL J. Director 934,029 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 31-Jan-05 ROSING, WAYNE Senior Vice President 2,500 Automatic Sale at $196 - $196.09 per share. $490,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 5,562 Automatic Sale at $195.44 - $196.15 per share. $1,089,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 15,784 Automatic Sale at $195.11 - $195.4 per share. $3,082,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 10,231 Automatic Sale at $194.76 - $195.1 per share. $1,994,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 5,974 Automatic Sale at $194.22 - $194.75 per share. $1,162,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 11,806 Automatic Sale at $193.87 - $194.19 per share. $2,291,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 13,866 Automatic Sale at $193.57 - $193.86 per share. $2,686,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 6,798 Automatic Sale at $192.99 - $193.54 per share. $1,314,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 9,949 Automatic Sale at $192.42 - $192.98 per share. $1,917,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 4,460 Automatic Sale at $192.03 - $192.4 per share. $857,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 236 Automatic Sale at $195.44 - $196.15 per share. $46,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 663 Automatic Sale at $195.11 - $195.4 per share. $129,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 428 Automatic Sale at $194.76 - $195.1 per share. $83,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 253 Automatic Sale at $194.22 - $194.75 per share. $49,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 497 Automatic Sale at $193.87 - $194.19 per share. $96,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 584 Automatic Sale at $193.57 - $193.86 per share. $113,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 285 Automatic Sale at $192.99 - $193.54 per share. $55,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 421 Automatic Sale at $192.42 - $192.98 per share. $81,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 190 Automatic Sale at $192.03 - $192.4 per share. $37,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 1,647 Automatic Sale at $195.44 - $196.15 per share. $322,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 4,673 Automatic Sale at $195.11 - $195.4 per share. $912,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 3,030 Automatic Sale at $194.76 - $195.1 per share. $591,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 1,769 Automatic Sale at $194.22 - $194.75 per share. $344,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 3,498 Automatic Sale at $193.87 - $194.19 per share. $679,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 4,107 Automatic Sale at $193.57 - $193.86 per share. $796,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 2,011 Automatic Sale at $192.99 - $193.54 per share. $389,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 2,946 Automatic Sale at $192.42 - $192.98 per share. $568,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 1,319 Automatic Sale at $192.03 - $192.4 per share. $254,0002 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 10,000 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 84,430 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 3,557 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 31-Jan-05 SCHMIDT, ERIC E. Chief Executive Officer 25,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 27-Jan-05 DRUMMOND, DAVID C. General Counsel 240,600 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 25-Jan-05 MATTIS, LINDA C. 150 Planned Sale $27,0001 25-Jan-05 MATTIS, JOHN S. 150 Planned Sale $27,0001 21-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 31,098 Automatic Sale at $191.86 - $195 per share. $6,015,0002 21-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 36,495 Automatic Sale at $189.10 - $191.85 per share. $6,951,0002 21-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 72,500 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 21-Jan-05 BERCOVICH, DAVID Employee 200 Planned Sale $38,0021 20-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 60,500 Automatic Sale at $194 - $195.8 per share. $11,791,0002 20-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 12,000 Automatic Sale at $193.20 - $193.85 per share. $2,322,0002 20-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 4,907 Automatic Sale at $189.30 - $190.65 per share. $932,0002 20-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 72,500 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 19-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 90,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 19-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 70,100 Automatic Sale at $199.70 - $205.08 per share. $14,188,0002 19-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 19,900 Automatic Sale at $197 - $199.5 per share. $3,945,0002 18-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 55,539 Automatic Sale at $203.55 - $204.32 per share. $11,326,0002 18-Jan-05 PAGE, LAWRENCE P. Assistant Secretary 109,461 Automatic Sale at $202.40 - $203.54 per share. $22,217,000

& where did we learn how to doo IT?

11-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 4,000,000 Planned Sale $104,240,0001 11-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 4,000,000 Sale at $25.86 - $26.11 per share. $103,940,0002 10-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 3,000,000 Sale at $26.02 - $26.12 per share. $78,210,0002 10-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Planned Sale $52,140,0001 10-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $26,070,0001 9-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $26.10 - $26.23 per share. $26,165,0002 9-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $26,240,0001 8-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $26,160,0001 8-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Planned Sale $52,320,0001 8-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 3,000,000 Sale at $26.17 - $26.3 per share. $78,705,0002 7-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Planned Sale $52,640,0001 7-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Sale at $26.08 - $26.27 per share. $52,350,0002 4-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $26,180,0001 4-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $26,180,0001 4-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Sale at $26.14 - $26.36 per share. $52,500,0002 3-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 3,000,000 Sale at $26.17 - $26.28 per share. $78,675,0002 3-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $26,460,0001 3-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Planned Sale $52,920,0001 2-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $26,390,0001 2-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $26,390,0001 2-Feb-05 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Sale at $26.30 - $26.44 per share. $52,740,0002 27-Jan-05 MARQUARDT, DAVID F. Director 384 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 20-Jan-05 REED, WILLIAM JR Director 98,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 19-Jan-05 RAIKES, JEFFREY S. Officer 3,300,000 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 14-Jan-05 SHIRLEY, JON A. Director 2,300 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 10-Jan-05 DEPIETRO, KENNETH A Officer 798 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $26.80 per share. $21,386 4-Jan-05 SHIRLEY, JON A. Director 4,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 4-Jan-05 CASH, JAMES I. JR Director 4,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 4-Jan-05 MARQUARDT, DAVID F. Director 4,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 4-Jan-05 GILMARTIN, RAYMOND V. Director 4,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 4-Jan-05 PANKE, HELMUT Director 4,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 4-Jan-05 KOROLOGOS, ANN MCLAUGHLIN Director 4,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 4-Jan-05 NOSKI, CHARLES H. Director 4,000 Acquisition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 3-Jan-05 MARQUARDT, DAVID F. Director 88,889 Option Exercise at $26.74 per share. $2,376,891 28-Dec-04 RAIKES, JEFFREY S. Officer 515,000 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 27-Dec-04 SHIRLEY, JON A. Director 18,000 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 20-Dec-04 MARQUARDT, DAVID F. Director 2,400 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 17-Dec-04 MARQUARDT, DAVID F. Director 1,040 Disposition (Non Open Market) at $0 per share. N/A 6-Dec-04 VASKEVITCH, DAVID Officer 910 Planned Sale $24,8691 6-Dec-04 VASKEVITCH, DAVID Senior Vice President 910 Sale at $27.33 per share. $24,870 3-Dec-04 BACH, ROBERT JOSEPH Senior Vice President 26,160 Sale at $27.22 - $27.41 per share. $715,0002 3-Dec-04 BACH, ROBERT JOSEPH Senior Vice President 26,160 Option Exercise at $5.0907 per share. $133,172 3-Dec-04 MARQUARDT, DAVID F. Director 100,000 Sale at $27.27 - $27.3 per share. $2,729,0002 3-Dec-04 BACH, ROBERT JOSEPH Senior Vice President 26,160 Planned Sale $713,9251 3-Dec-04 MARQUARDT, DAVID F. Director 100,000 Planned Sale $2,728,5001 2-Dec-04 BACH, ROBERT JOSEPH Senior Vice President 12,000 Sale at $27.25 - $27.4 per share. $328,0002 2-Dec-04 BACH, ROBERT JOSEPH Senior Vice President 12,000 Option Exercise at $5.0907 per share. $61,088 2-Dec-04 BACH, ROBERT JOSEPH Senior Vice President 12,000 Planned Sale $326,7051 1-Dec-04 MARQUARDT, DAVID F. Director 100,000 Sale at $27 - $27.01 per share. $2,701,0002 1-Dec-04 BACH, ROBERT JOSEPH Senior Vice President 4,000 Sale at $27.25 per share. $109,000 1-Dec-04 BACH, ROBERT JOSEPH Senior Vice President 4,000 Option Exercise at $5.0907 per share. $20,362 1-Dec-04 BACH, ROBERT JOSEPH Senior Vice President 4,000 Planned Sale $109,0001 1-Dec-04 MARQUARDT, DAVID F. Director 100,000 Planned Sale $2,700,9941 30-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 500,000 Sale at $26.80 - $26.9 per share. $13,425,0002 30-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. Chairman 500,000 Planned Sale $13,385,0001 29-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,500,000 Sale at $26.70 - $26.94 per share. $67,050,0002 29-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,500,000 Planned Sale $66,500,0001 26-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $26.63 - $26.8 per share. $26,715,0002 26-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $26,640,0001 24-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Sale at $26.62 - $26.72 per share. $53,340,0002 24-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $26,530,0001 23-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. Chairman 3,000,000 Planned Sale $79,950,0001 22-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Sale at $26.27 - $26.8 per share. $53,070,0002 22-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Planned Sale $53,720,0001 19-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Sale at $26.85 - $27.05 per share. $53,900,0002 19-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Planned Sale $54,140,0001 18-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Sale at $27.02 - $27.13 per share. $54,150,0002 18-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $27,170,0001 17-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Sale at $27.12 - $27.32 per share. $27,220,0002 17-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 1,000,000 Planned Sale $27,120,0001 16-Nov-04 GATES, WILLIAM H. III Chairman 2,000,000 Sale at $27.10 - $27.28 per share. $54,380,000

becoming a stock markup billyonerror is now... (0, Troll)

already_gone (848753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832333)

'automatic'? kewl.

we're still about building a vessel that floats on almost any suBStance.

don't forget; consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), since/until forever. see you there?

Punishment ? (5, Insightful)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832324)

Is it because the Beeb has been so "reserved" when Blair engaged his Kingdom's soldiers into Iraq for some yet-to-be-defined reasons ?

Re:Punishment ? (5, Informative)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832345)

They weren't reserved; the Chairman spoke up and lost his job. Funny how no one has pointed out that he could do them for unfair dismissal now we know that the 45 minute was, in fact, as we knew all along, complete bollocks.

Re:Punishment ? (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832352)

I put this between double quotes so that it would have been taken "reservedly" :)

Re:Punishment ? (2, Informative)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832392)

Funny how no one has pointed out that he could do them for unfair dismissal
He wasn't dismissed. He tendered his resignation, firmly believing it would not be accepted. He was wrong.
the 45 minute was, in fact, as we knew all along, complete bollocks.
The rubbishing of the 45 minute claim wasn't what upset the government. What upset the government was the suggestion that they -- and not the security services -- had inserted the claim into the dossier. This was what Gilligan suggested in his first broadcast, having first failed to clear it with his editor, or the BBC's lawyers.
Furthermore, all inquiries have shown this suggestion to be not true.

Why not just keep things as they are?! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832463)

Heh, isn't the phrase "Blair engaged his Kingdom's soldiers" a little ironic and worrying? The implication 'Blair -> King' rings alarm bells in my head - although some of the Government's recent actions make it almost seem like he can get away with anything...
But getting back to the main point:
I don't mind the TV license - I mean, it funds some of the best quality channels out there. High quality public service broadcasting, as they say. Put adverts on BBC1 & 2, and I'd stop watching TV completely. I would continue listening to Radio1, 2 & 6Music - if they still exist after the BBC's restructuring.

Why resent paying for it? OK, Sky has (how many??) channels, but you have 15 minutes of adverts to every 45 of program. That's 25% of the airtime! A Sky package costs so much more than the license fee, and how many of all those available channels really show anything you'd ever watch? Don't most of us, (the average British population) stick with the first 6 channels available? (The 6th one, admittedly, being Sky One in my case.)

There goes the UK (2, Interesting)

dj_cel (744926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832326)

Welcome aboard our UK brothers and sisters! Join us for a round of control the media! Seriously though, how can the BBC go from opening up archives to the public to becoming restrictive? Sounds like yet another assault by out friendly media conglomerates. No I'm not trying to troll, it seems that this was inevitable.

Conservative lawmakers? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832328)

Sorry, lawmakers? Just because a politician is elected to the House of Commons does not make them a 'lawmaker'. Given the elected-dictatorship that is the British system when large majorities are held by the Government of the day, that description couldn't be further from the truth. Just look at the railroading of the current detention orders bill that's going on by this 'Labour' government.

The only lawmakers are the ministers that put legislation forward, back benchers lucky enough to win the silly lottery for back bench time, or judges that amend legislation in a court of law.

Oh, and Rupert Murdoch.

Re:Conservative lawmakers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832373)

Every politician in the House of Commons IS a law maker, they create the laws, and they oversee and push-through the laws. Every MP can also submit a new law to the House of Commons which is then voted upon by fellow MPs.

All MPs decide upon laws, and every MP can table a new law.

Re:Conservative lawmakers? (1)

rpjs (126615) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832433)

Whilst I agree in principle with what you write, I do find it uncomfortable when US writers describe MPs as "lawmakers". yes, technically they are, but the term implies some sort of separation of powers and independence of the legislature that simply does not exist in the British system.

American should remember more what they rebelled against when writing about the British political system!

If it's not broken don't fix it. (4, Interesting)

NoMercy (105420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832329)

Admitidly the BBC has had a few problems, but nothing that ammounts to more than poking the goverment (hey most people in england happen to think the goverment deserved a good poking for taking us to war on a lie).

It's an asset which few other countries have, to turn it into a goverment properganda machine *shudder*, Gues we'd just have to start watching fox news for an unbiased opinion :)

Re:If it's not broken don't fix it. (5, Funny)

miu (626917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832381)

hey most people in england happen to think the goverment deserved a good poking for taking us to war on a lie

Oh come on, like you never killed thousands based on a lie. Everyone makes mistakes.

Re:If it's not broken don't fix it. (1)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832404)

Oh come on, like you never killed thousands based on a lie.

Yeah, but we were trying to give it up! And we were doing so well, too.

Re:If it's not broken don't fix it. (1, Insightful)

Decaff (42676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832397)

hey most people in england happen to think the goverment deserved a good poking for taking us to war on a lie

No matter how much you dislike what happened, it is not true that we (British) went to war on a 'lie'. This would only be true if it the government knew in advance that there were no weapons of mass destruction at the time of declaration of war. There is little or no evidence of this. It is fair to say that the government was mistaken, or that the intelligence services were incompetent, or that politicians were naive or stupid. But, that is fundamentally different from saying that they deliberately lied. Such accusations should not be made lightly.

Re:If it's not broken don't fix it. (1)

Beetjebrak (545819) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832456)

I've seen the UK's closest ally, the USA, in the person of at least Colin Powell and several other key people in the first Bush administration say on TV that Iraq did not have any WMD's and did not have the ability to acquire them anytime in the near future. That was in 2000. Then I saw a similar news item again in Fahrenheit 9/11 that came from around the same period of time. You can say what you want about Michael Moore's ethics and bias in documentary making, but the footage of the above that also got into Fahrenheit 9/11 leaves nothing at all to the imagination: the US government was convinced that there were no WMD's in Iraq. Suddenly that all changes, the US forces an offensive war for no clear reason even while the UN hadn't even properly finished its weapons inspections (to which Iraq was being more and more cooperative) and the UK blindly followed. If that's not leading soldiers to their deaths based on a lie, then at least it's based on gross neglect of duty.

Re:If it's not broken don't fix it. (1)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832462)

The 'coalition' made accusations which they said they could substansiate (but strangely could make this evidence public for 'security reasons'). Attacked a country and killed thousands of innocent citizens. Many service men and women also lost their lives.

Later it was discovered that accusations were false. In my book, if you claim to have absolute proof that guarentees certainty of a fact and that fact latter turns out to be false.... you lied.

In any case, it seems that this coalition could do with a lesson in not making accusatiosn lightly too. The consequences of their accusations were far more serious!

Licensing fee (2, Interesting)

peterprior (319967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832331)

Looks like they are keeping the licensing fee for another 10 years at least :|

£104 ($180 ish?) a year just to watch TV :/

Re:Licensing fee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832383)

It's £121, $231 USD.

The strange thing is the BBC is now able to support itself, they make so much money with their various magazines and DVDs and selling shows across the world etc, so they don't really need the license fee. Certainly £20 per person, per year, would be enough, and everyone would be happy to pay that.

i don't think anyone outside the UK gets it. (5, Insightful)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832401)

£120 a year is *phenomenal* value for money. 10 digital channels, 2 terestrial channels - all packed full of high-quality, advert-free intelligent programing. 4 FM national radio stations, a load of local radio - all advert-free. Numerous digital radio stations. World-class reporting and news that's unbiased. One of the best all-round websites there is. The BBC is an *amazing* resource for UK citizens and one that's very cheap indeed considering what you get. Contrast with £300 a year for Sky and Murdoch's poison.

Re:i don't think anyone outside the UK gets it. (1)

CRC'99 (96526) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832489)

And don't forget BBC World Service...

I listen to that broadcast from Australia, and it's a great outlet for real views.

Re:Licensing fee (1)

peterprior (319967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832423)

Good grief. When I last had a TV (read: when I last could be bothered to hook my WinTV card up to an aerial and the novely of the wmtv dockapp was still fresh) it was £104 and that was 4 ish years ago.

Wonder if the "buy black and white licence and turn the colour saturation down when the inspectors turn up" trick will still wash ;)

Re:Licensing fee (1)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832448)

Wonder if the "buy black and white licence and turn the colour saturation down when the inspectors turn up" trick will still wash ;)

Funny, but I can attest it doesn't. A friend got pulled up for it and only got away with it when it was realised that the Landlord had a licence for the house anyway.

Re:Licensing fee (2, Insightful)

MikeDX (560598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832415)

£104 to watch TV and listen to radio COMPLETELY LEGALLY AND ADVERTISEMENT FREE is a total bargain, plus the BBC websites, world service, BBC freeview digital.. Less than £10 a month for that much entertainment, with no crazy frog, and no annoying johnny vaughn is a fucking bargain. you may like spam with your TV. I DON'T.

WE LOVE YOU BBC!!!

Re:Licensing fee (2, Insightful)

GeckoUK (58633) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832482)

Another thing to remember is that being forced to compete with the BBC ad free channels keeps the number of ads on ITV, channel 4 et al down to a bearable level.

Re:Licensing fee (2, Insightful)

CProgrammer98 (240351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832428)

DOn't forget though, you get to watch AD FREE tv -That's gotta be worth the license fee surely.

Try watching old beeb programs such as Yes Minister, or some of the dramas on UK gold, where they insert commercial breaks, it's just bizzare!

Re:Licensing fee (4, Insightful)

Marlor (643698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832453)

Don't complain. Here in Australia we pay for our ABC directly via taxes, and their funding has been drastically decreased over the last two decades (from to $41 per person per year in 1985 to around $20 per person per year now). As a result, they can't really afford to finance the production of local programmes, so they currently spend most of their TV budget on buying programmes from the BBC.

Some of the purchases haven't made sense in recent years, either. They have been playing endless repeats of "Dead Ringers", which is bizarre, because most Australians have only a cursory knowledge of British politics, so I can't see the value in imitations of British politicians and newsreaders.

So, a well funded BBC that can produce world-class entertainment is nothing to complain about. Slashing funding would just result in less profits in the long-term, and less local productions. The BBC is something to be proud of, and a couple of pounds per week is a bargain for what you receive.

Re:Licensing fee (1)

chrisdw (864477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832472)

I for one am very happy to pay £120 a year for the half-dozen or so TV channels without any adverts. For one thing I feel it keeps down the amount of advertising on every other channel on UK TV in order to be competitive.

God forbid it gets like US TV with what feels like 5minutes of programming between advert breaks (particularly that break right before the end credits)

F*ck the license fee! (0)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832332)

I know they're talking of 2017, but they want to abolish the license fee and either blanket tax every house, or charge a PC tax in order to cover themselves in case we download stuff.

Why the hell can i get hundreds and hundreds of channels on Sky, and yet I have to cough up every month just in case i watch BBC1 or BBC2 (the extra channels, are, I believe, not funded from the license fee)

Re:F*ck the license fee! (4, Interesting)

linuxci (3530) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832365)

Get your facts right, all the BBC's UK content is paid for by the licence fee which includes all the digital channels they produce, the radio stations, local content and the online content.

I think just over 100 pounds a year is good value compared to the high monthly fees of Sky (100's of channels of which only a couple are any good).

The BBC is in a unique position, we've got a public broadcaster which means we're not bombarded with ads and they have an excellent (also ad free) website.

With Sky you pay per month and are still bombarded with ads.

e.g. when BBC2 used to have the Simpsons it was 20 minutes because they don't have the ads, with Sky it's 30 minutes.

It's also a small price to pay for having an organisation that has no commercial bias and as we've seen they're willing to criticise the government. I'd certainly rather trust the BBC rather than a commercial entity like Sky who is owned by News corp just like Fox.

Re:F*ck the license fee! (1)

TehHustler (709893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832387)

Plus the fact that if you didnt have a license fee, then the taxes would go up to fund it anyway. HOWEVER... I do object to paying for BBC Services that I don't use. So, I always thought there should be a subscription system. When digital technology is king, this shouldnt be a problem to implement.

Re:F*ck the license fee! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832398)

Get your facts right, all the BBC's UK content is paid for by the licence fee which includes all the digital channels they produce, the radio stations, local content and the online content. I think just over 100 pounds a year is good value compared to the high monthly fees of Sky (100's of channels of which only a couple are any good).
It's ridiculous to be forced to pay for owning a television, nevermind the fact that BBC's television programming consists mainly of gardening, home improvement, and make-over shows. You don't have to pay the road tax if you aren't going to drive on public roads, why should you have to pay the BBC tax if you aren't going to watch the BBC?

Re:F*ck the license fee! (1)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832435)

The BBC is not entirely funded by the licence fee. They are also massive exporters of content, for which fees are levied, so they do manage to extract a tithe from other media companies.

Luckily, this means they're one step away from being pressured by conglomerates to supress news - it just means the buyer supresses it instead.

more info here [bbc.co.uk]

Re:F*ck the license fee! (1)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832447)

My objection is, I'm paying a telly tax. And incidentally, my Sky Bill is £9 a month. And it's a lot more interesting to me than gardening and Eastenders. I like Ads. I can get up and take a pee, or get a beer, and I don't miss anything.

Also, i don't trust anyone for news, no one gives it completely non-bias. They might criticise the Government, but they do it in a half assed way.

Re:F*ck the license fee! (1)

philbert26 (705644) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832485)

I think just over 100 pounds a year is good value compared to the high monthly fees of Sky (100's of channels of which only a couple are any good).

It is excellent. And I support what you say about having a broadcaster (relatively) free from commercial pressures. However, I think that having such a broadcaster gives benefit to the whole population, even those who don't watch TV. Therefore there's a case for paying the fee from taxpayer money rather than from TV viewer money. Currently the TV license is payable by everyone under 75, regardless of income. None of our other taxes work that way.

Re:F*ck the license fee! (1)

dhbiker (863466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832370)

I think you'll find that the license fee covers much more than just BBC1 and BBC2. here is how your license is spent:

Viewers pay £10 per month, which is spent in the following way:

£5 - terrestrial TV
£1 - digital
£1.20 - radio
£1.50 - local TV and radio
£0.30 - Online
£1 - transmission and collection of licence fee

When you look at these figures does it really seem like that much to pay when you consider the quality of things like the BBC website and BBC radio? (hell even BBC1 and 2 have been putting out some decent documentary programmes as of late)

Re:F*ck the license fee! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832377)

How much do you pay for sky and still have adverts and biased news? 20 a month? 30 a month? It's still 2-300 per year. ITV is full of adverts. CH4 shows some great programming and can buy the US imports, but the BBC has value not only as an independant but I dont see Sky 1 showing Open University level stuff, or exposes on corruption.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/licencefee/

--
Each household's colour TV licence cost £9.67 every month in 2003/2004. On average each month, this was how the BBC spent your money:
Average monthly licence fee spend

This chart shows that £9.67 was the average monthly cost of each household's licence fee in 2003/2004. It breaks it down visually into components.

* BBC One £3.37
* BBC Two £1.45
* Digital television channels £0.98
* Transmission and collection costs £0.98
* BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 and Five Live £0.99
* Digital radio stations £0.08
* Nations & English Regions television £0.90
* Local radio £0.61
* bbc.co.uk £0.31

--

Also there is the BBC Imp project which will allow people in the UK (restricted by IP numbers and authorisation) to download a high percentage of BBC TV and radio in >1mmbit DRM'ed wmv for playing on your PC or laptop up to 8 days after broadcast (as allowed by copyright laws)

I had a mate on the trial and it was awesome to be able to watch Top Gear on a laptop over lunch

Re:F*ck the license fee! (3, Insightful)

kyojin the clown (842642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832424)

I live in the UK, and very rarely watch broadcast TV. Most of it is cack, and to be honest the good stuff rarely fits in with my general schedule. I used to be all bent out of shape over the £120 odd fee i pay.

however, when you think about it, its not really bad value to fund a corporation that is internationally valued and respected as a provider of news. personally, i think the beeb is something we should be proud of, no matter how hard they try to strip us of this pride with their never ending stream of crap DIY shows and people moving house...

Re:F*ck the license fee! (1)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832396)

(the extra channels, are, I believe, not funded from the license fee)

This is correct, however see my post above and note why the licence fee allows the BBC to be free of financial pressure from the likes of advertisers who may put pressure on them financially through withdrawal of funds.

For a real life example of a news channel acting unethically because of commercial concerns, see here [foxbghsuit.com] . Synopsis: two reporters for a Fox News sub reported on a Monsanto product with serious health issues and were subsequently fired. The ensuing legal cases brought to light the fact that there is no law on the statute books (in the US at least) which censures news channels for lying outright (or technically, concealing the truth). It's a complex issue with many sides but I think it fits the point that commercially funded media has an inherent bias which can be harmful. Government funded stations have no such requirement.

Re:F*ck the license fee! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832419)

This is correct, however see my post above and note why the licence fee allows the BBC to be free of financial pressure from the likes of advertisers who may put pressure on them financially through withdrawal of funds.

Instead, they suffer from financial pressure from the likes of the government who may put pressure on them financially through withdrawal of funds.

Re:F*ck the license fee! (-1, Redundant)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832408)

Here's an overview of how the licensing fee is split (from a BBC article about the changes here [bbc.co.uk] ).

Viewers pay £10 per month, which is spent in the following way:
£5 - terrestrial TV
£1 - digital
£1.20 - radio
£1.50 - local TV and radio
£0.30 - Online
£1 - transmission and collection of licence fee

Why not totaly free? (0)

moofdaddy (570503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832342)

I don't understand the rational for any goverement regulation outside of deceny standards. I suppose its because I am a yannkie but the whole idea to me of the goverement having that much control over the media is appaling. How does parliment justify keeping the BBC under its thumb?

Britian is a strong country, they are good to their people and they have been for the last 60 years a pretty model citizen in the world community. What is there to lose by allowing the BBC to run free. I have never been to Britian but I have heard stories of European broadcasting being much looser on deceny standards then we are in the states. If that is the case I don't understand the rational for any form of control or regulation. What do the people have to gain by having the media affiliated with the goverment?

Re:Why not totaly free? (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832372)

Hee - you've obviously not seen much British TV. The last time I saw an American watching some late night C4 television (back in the days of TV Offal), they were absolutely astounded by what British TV got away with. It's also worth noting that Ozzie is more the rule than the exception - Brit's tend to swear a lot. The intent is important - c**t, b*****d, etc. can be rude, but are often expressions of affection, too. Context is the key.

Re:Why not totaly free? (1)

748boy (751393) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832375)

The BBC is not "under the thumb" of parliment in the UK.

If fact during the war the bbc has repeatedly put pressue on the goverment for its actions, take the interview on the today program about the 45 mins claim

i for one prefer the BBC to most news channels in existance for providing unbiased balanced news coverage.

I watch FOX news on occasion, only to be frankly scared by how much in love with bush they are and how completely unbalanced they are.... and im told by some US friends this is one of the better stations.

anhowys im ranting now

it is now (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832413)

abolishment of it's board of directors, Michael Grade selling them to labour: this is all "under the thumb" of not parliament, but the labour party. This would not be mooted if they'd done a Fox news and whooped and hollered the invasion of the Middle East.

Re:Why not totaly free? (5, Insightful)

Metatron (21064) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832409)

The BBC is funded by the license fee. It is a legal requirement to pay this fee if you own a television set or similar device that is able to recieve television broadcast. The governemnt has a duty to ensure that this law is (in its belief) fair and that the BBC is spending the license fee correctly and is fulfilling its remit. This is the end of the governments involvement.

This does not make the BBC' under the governments thumb. This is not state controlled television, the BBC has complete journalistic and programming freedom ... it just has to ensure that it provides the public service broadcasting that our money is paying for.

You can't have organisations just spending public money without oversight, but oversight does not mean editorial censorship, control, or restriction.

Re:Why not totaly free? (1)

tj8057 (786721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832421)

I think everyone's a bit confused here. The BBC is free: the government has no input into what the BBC can or should broadcast. The only control it has is every 10 years when the royal charter comes up for renewal. Now, obviously it's not ideal having the government responsible for anything but once every 10 years isn't bad. It's better than it being owned by some media group that panders to the political inclinations of its bosses and chases ratings in order to sell time to advertisers. It's difficult to think of a better method than the current one.

Re:Why not totaly free? (4, Informative)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832434)

The BBC is pretty free from the government, if there was any political censorship going on then other channels would be all over it. Watching things like question time, journalists are not known for being polite and letting politicians get away with bullshitting - if a question is asked, a proper answer is expected no matter what part of the political spectrum. There have been plenty of occasions when the BBC has done things that pissed off the government and even other governments (Israel, Vanunu) they are absolutely not afraid to broadcast things that need to be seen, from lists of dead soldiers (censored in the US by some stations) to prisoner abuse (censored in the US for at least 2 weeks before it came out) to just taking the piss out of the establishment - if this was china every employee would have been publicly hanged - which is why i love the BBC.

As for decency standards, I really don't understand why the FCC is so tight assed, the BBC recently came under fire from Christian groups over Jerry Springer the Opera (with about 8000 fuck, shit, cunts etc and a gay Jesus), but the BBC did not cave in because they understood that they had to appeal to everyone but _not_ at the same time, so they showed it, the FCC would have had a heart attack.

Re:Why not totaly free? (2, Informative)

vidarh (309115) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832437)

The point is that the BBC is there to provide an alternative to the commercial broadcasters. As such, there's no point in having the BBC producing stuff that the commercial broadcasters does just as well. Especially as the variety of commercial channels has been rapidly increasing. Which is why so much effort is put in to make sure BBC programming is focused on areas where the BBC can either provide an important alternative (news, for instance, by providing an alternative to the viewpoints of the commercial broadcasters) or where the commercial broadcasters aren't going.

This is the foundation of almost all publicly owned broadcasters in Europe - they're there to make sure stuff that isn't commercially viable on the short term still gets a chance at a place in the media, and to aid public information and the development of culture.

Setting guidelines to ensure this is the only way in which parliament "keep the BBC under its thumb". And only indirectly through changes to the charter and by indirectly influencing the BBC's governing structure.

Think of BBC as a corporation owned by the public being given guidelines for how to operate from it's shareholders - represented by Parliament. This is no different than any other media organisation. The only difference is that in the BBC's case power isn't centralised on the hands of small groups of wealthy business people.

Re:Why not totaly free? (2, Informative)

guet (525509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832486)

I don't understand the rational for any goverement regulation outside of deceny standards. I suppose its because I am a yannkie but the whole idea to me of the goverement having that much control over the media is appaling. How does parliment justify keeping the BBC under its thumb?

Maybe if you knew something about the BBC you wouldn't spout off such nonsense. The BBC is not 'under the thumb' of parliament, quite the contrary, and I suspect they're now being punished for that fact by the present government. If you want an example of mass-media that's under the thumb of government, check your own side of the pond. I find it amusing that you're so appalled by government interference in the media when you have such a tepid, unadventurous news media under the US system - you don't by any chance watch Fox News do you? Things are getting a bit out of hand when a comedy show (The Daily Show) is one of the most serious political commentaries.

The rationale for government regulation is to ensure that the licence fee is spent appropriately, not on another 'Temptation Island' knock-off because that sells, but on programming that attempts to educate and entertain. The word government means something very different outside the USA, which I suspect is where your confusion comes from. PS Your spelling is appalling, frightening even, please use a spelling checker.

learn to spell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832343)

it's "government", not goverment.

independence (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832359)

Well it can't be both too independent and not independent enough at the same time so it'll probably settle somewhere in the middle and everything will be OK.

oh my (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832360)

The submitter didn't have an idea of what he was talking about, it's all so vague and misleading.

"The changes are said to scrap the system that has been in place for 77 years. "

The only difference being the removal of the Board of Directors.

"Some are worried that the independence of the "Beeb" could be compromised"

No, the whole idea of this reforming of the BBC was to INCREASE the independance of the BBC.

What the hell is the submitter on about?
Certainly the BBC needs an independant external body to stop the embarassingly biast (against the Iraq war, for example) "news coverage", the little comments the reporters put in every report of Iraq is nothing short of disgusting.

These new changes will help, but I think maybe it doesn't go far enough, but it's for the better, regardless.

change the name... (0, Offtopic)

hostylocal (827126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832361)

... hike up the price! the government did this to us when we moved from rates to poll tax - this smells like another excuse to raise prices. we pay tax on the money we earn, then we are taxed on the equipment we buy, then we are taxed to use that equipment? what's next? breathing tax? sex tax? is there no aspect of lives left that the government cannot regulate or charge us for?

Sure, George (5, Informative)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832363)

Some are worried that the independence of the "Beeb" could be compromised
I haven't heard this much in the British media. In fact, these reforms seem likely to *increase* the Beeb's independence, since it adds another layer of distance between the Governors (now the BBC Trust) and the patronage of government.

The Governors at present are appointed directly by the government -- and the last Labour and Tory administrations have made partly-political appointments; in the future, their replacements will be appointed by a more independent executive.

I'd also just like to say this : as a License Fee payer, I believe firmly that the BBC works, and having travelled a fair amount, I've never seen a media organisation produce comparable amounts of quality output.

Re:Sure, George (2, Informative)

szlevente (705483) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832389)

Not sure how things are in the UK, but here in Eastern Europe, BBC is a synonym for objective, independent, realistic and incisive news reports. Haven't heard of anybody disliking it. FM radio stations that re-broadcast BBC programmes are bound to gain more listeners, just because of that.

Re:Sure, George (4, Interesting)

aug24 (38229) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832446)

Somehow I doubt the members of the trust will be free from political influence... and being separated from the management of the day, do they not sound a little more like, say, OfBeeb*, than the 'cheerleaders' that the current Governers tend to be? I could see this being either good or bad, and based on my opinion of the current bastards ruining our country's good name at home and abroad, I'm inclined to be worried.

My tuppence is: just because they've called it a 'Trust' doesn't mean anything. Remember Sir Humphrey Appleby: "Always do the difficult bit in the title. Then everyone will assume that the content must fulfil it". Alternatively, think of Paxman: "Why is this lying lier lying to me?". Then you'll understand the Labour Party.

Justin.
* Note for non-UK readers. We name our regulatory bodies along these lines: OfGas, Office for the Gas industry. OfWat, Office for the Water industry. For some reason the Rail watchdog's office isn't called OfRail though...

Re:Sure, George (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832474)

Then you'll understand the Labour Party.
I don't understand. The Tories have come out and said they'd keep the BBC more accountable to government, and yet somehow you accuse Labour of being the control freaks...

I think your biases have overcome your rationality there, friend.

Re:Sure, George (1)

pk2000 (792069) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832454)

Some are worried that the independence of the "Beeb" could be compromised, and Conservative lawmakers are worried that it does not allow for enough oversight (leaves it too independent?).

Seems that both sides are worried. Then it should be just right.

News for Nerds. Stuff that matters. (-1, Redundant)

KontinMonet (737319) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832366)

Why is this /. news? It's no a great change at the Beeb, even the top guy is hardly affected (he now becomes the guy running the 'Trust' instead).

I tried recently to submit an item about a Symantec patent that was technical and might have been an argument for software patents. IMHO, it would have been an interesting discussion but it got rejected. Instead we get this about the Beeb???

Sheesh. Move along. Nothing to see (except the repeats...).

Freedom of Express (1)

Gax (196168) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832368)

>Not enough oversight?? What about freedom of expression and speech?

The BBC is funded by the British public and, as a result, they must follow rules to ensure they are spending money on worthy subjects. Of late, the BBC has not expressed any ideas of value. Their schedule has been bogged down with cheap shows that appeal to the lowest denominator and repeats.

No broadcaster can claim to provide freedom of expression and speech in the true sense. Factual programmes always provide a certain angle on a story, removing comments that are irrelevant or require time to explain.

Perhaps they could do some kind of Changing Rooms-style makeover show where they are given a week and £1000 to revamp the BBC.

Why Isn't This On Their Website Then? (3, Interesting)

flynniec6 (813933) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832390)

As of 12:05 GMT+1, it isn't on their front page.

I've always found that the BBC presented fairly impartial reporting on most issues and didn't tend to get too centralised on particular countries or trends. I have BBC World at home and while it can be a bore at times listening to economics and politics in places I don't care about, at least I hear about it.

I had BBC World when I lived in the USA and its coverage during the September 11th attack and after was markedly different from the US channels, particularly two days out. I live in Madrid now and it's coverage of the train bombings on the 11th of March provided some clarity of view when all of the media channels here were reporting a more local feel.

I feel that anything that compromises their current model would compromise that impartiality - more control or looking for subscriptions would see the flavour of the news influenced: for the worst.

The BBC still reminds me of a time when most people who read newspapers were trying to better themselves and stay informed, and felt that said publications were a level to aspire to. As opposed to the vast proliferation of trash publications and sensationalist reporting which now murk those waters. I hope the BBC stays the way it is.

Re:Why Isn't This On Their Website Then? (1)

ErroneousBee (611028) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832432)

Its been discussed on last nights news and the Today Program. It probably been and gone from the Web page.

Re:Why Isn't This On Their Website Then? (4, Informative)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832438)

Why Isn't This On Their Website Then?

Because it was on their front page yesterday :)

Theres's a few articles/discussion on the subject, here [bbc.co.uk] here [bbc.co.uk] and here [bbc.co.uk]

The BBC has done alot for us.... (1)

CCelebornn (829849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832418)

A lot of people complain about the licence fee and how they never watch BBC and BBC2 so shouldn't have to pay it. However, for me, the BBC's greatest achievement and role in UK media is it's ability to bring through new technology. The internet, internet services and linking television content to web content; the BBC has pioneered this in the UK and without them there wouldn't be anywhere near as many users of the internet. And they have helped with broadband too - media streams all over their websites from small clips of certain news broadcasts to whole programs. Digital TV: there is no doubt that without the BBC helping to bring through Freeview and push its Digital services on its channels, that Digital TV would still be flounding with no reason to have it for the average joe. The goverments plan to switch off the Analogue signal? Saved only by Freeview. And these are just more recent examples of what the BBC have done for us and are doing for us now. So yes, you may not watch BBC ever, or never listen to their radio stations, or visit their website. And commercial companies complain about how it's unfair competition. But for both people and those companies; the BBC's unique funding has willingness to inovate has created and expanded new markets that has helped and benefited everyone.

Crap reasoning (2, Informative)

Cougem (734635) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832420)

So this all comes about from the 'sexing up' of the War in Iraq coverage? What a shit reason. Wow, it failed once in 77 years of governance. That's a bloody good track record in my books.

Just because the government are pissed off that it made them look worse, it was better than 99% of the other news sources, *cough*BSkyB*cough.

It's just bitterness

Anyone remember that massive page-sized advertisement the BBC took out in the newspapers with the peoples names which basically gave a finger to the government and pledge support to the high figures. Good on them.

The Power of Nightmares (5, Insightful)

dr_strangeloveIII (703893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832452)

Last year's license fee was worthwhile if only for this one documentary series. This is exactly the sort of intelligent programming which the current reforms are purported to encourage.

Basically it was an account of how we arrived at the current climate of fear with our leaders exaggerating the dangers from almost entirely fictitious enemies. Interesting comparisons between the American neo-conservative ideologies and the beliefs held by Bin Laden et al.

If you didn't get to see this because you are American or British but missed it then you should, the torrents are out there, seek and ye shall find.

I'd doubt it will ever get shown in the US.

nooooooooo!! (1)

stormi (837687) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832458)

BBC better not get government regulation....... then who will i trust for news? all i'll have left is slashdot... *cries*

I'm currently watching a BBC documentary (2, Insightful)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832483)

... sent to me from the UK at my request, on Mordecai Vanunu, Israel's Nuclear Whisleblower [peaceheroes.com]

I quote from this documentary, from an american anti-war protester, who professed to know nothing about Vanunu or his plight:

"Why is our media that's supposed to be free and open not telling us and why is our government not letting us know this information if we're in the home of the free?"

The BBC made and screened this documentary. It's an important issue that has been largely ignored by virtually every other major media organisation worldwide. The fact that this documentary ever aired says a lot about how independent the BBC has already been.

I stand 100% behind the BBC, and I'm very worried about any restraint they may be put under due to this change. I'll be keeping an eye on it, of course.

a small prize to the first person who does an Uncle Leo [geocities.com] on this comment, by the way

Slightly OT (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11832492)

How many free to air stations are there in London these days? From what I hear there are not that many? Don't you all have to pay a license fee for the TV as well, or did they do away with that silly idea...
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