BBC director-general Mark Thompson speaks at University of Kent
In a week
of controversy surrounding the BBC, its director-general took time out
to speak to students in Medway.
Just hours after meeting union reps about the proposed cutbacks
at the corporation, Mark Thompson was at the University of Kent in Chatham to
deliver the annual Bob Friend memorial lecture to journalism
Mr Thompson spoke about the strategy for the BBC and how this
will shape its news services around the world.
On the subject of regional news, the director-general reiterated
the BBC's plans to go no more local than the county and city-wide
services it already provides.
He said: "In the case of local journalism, we feel it is for
others to take the lead. We think there are potentially some really
exciting developments in local media."
Mr Thompson said cuts in some of the BBC's overheads would mean
more investment in television and radio programmes.
Speaking after the event, he added: "What I hope people will see
in the existing heartland services is even more quality. We'll have
more big projects like the Five Days drama, more
really big exciting projects like that."
He revealed the BBC will be investing an extra £10million in
He said: "We want to invest more in quality content for
children. We know because parents tell us they rely on our
commitment to children’s television programmes without
Mr Thompson described the decision to close 6 Music as "painful" but said he
hoped to bring some of the talent from the station to Radio 1 and
Mr Thompson also presented student Daniel May with the Bob
Friend Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to a first-year
student from the Centre for Journalism at the university
in memory of the BBC and Sky News journalist.
Daniel, 19, from Essex, is the second winner of the
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