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Murdoch and Netflix won’t do this

Earlier this week the BBC explained what it’s going to do to help during the Coronavirus crisis. The short version: a lot.

Here’s just one part of it, the education section:

In the event that schools are shut down, and subject to further work and discussions with the Department for Education, devolved administrations and schools, we are exploring:

  1. A daily educational programme for different key stages or year groups – with a complementary self-learning programme for students to follow, broadcast on BBC Red Button and made available on demand on BBC iPlayer.

  2. Expanding BBC Bitesize content, with our social media running daily troubleshooting Q&As focusing on a different subject each day.

  3. Increasing our educational programming on BBC iPlayer, bringing together the best from BBC Bitesize, BBC Teach and the wider BBC portfolio where educationally appropriate.

  4. Creating two new daily educational podcasts for BBC Sounds, one for primary and one for secondary.

  5. BBC Four and BBC Red Button devoting a block of programming each weekday evening to show programmes that support the GCSE and A Level curriculum. In Scotland, the Scotland channel will support the Scottish NQs and Highers in daytime.

I’m not privy to the internal conversations or plans of any part of the BBC. But I do know as a contributor there’s a ton of work going on behind the scenes to ensure that the output is relevant, necessary and useful to people during this very difficult period.

Imagine a world where the right-wing press gets its wish and the BBC no longer exists in its present form. Can you imagine Netflix stepping up like that? Sky? In the US, Murdoch’s Fox network is going to have blood on its hands for its Coronavirus denial: while around 70% of US news consumers are rightly worried about the crisis, that falls below 40 for Fox News viewers.

Like the NHS, there’s a lot to criticise about the BBC. But like the NHS, it still remains a national treasure.