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Is it time for the BBC to be switched off?

14th - 21st October 2022

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Total votes


5-11 voters


11-18 voters

The BBC: 100 not out?

Whether it’s the famous clock strikes on the six o’clock news, Line of Duty or Radio 1, most people in the country will have some connection to the BBC. In 2022, the BBC celebrated 100 years of broadcasting.

The growth of the BBC has followed right alongside the country from the 1920s to the present day. It wasn’t straight into the Archers, but not far off. It has weathered the mass consumption of television as well as the invention of the internet.

But there have been questions about the BBC and particularly the way that it is funded and its ability to be impartial.

As its Centenary celebrations approached, our voters explored the BBC’s memorable history and its mission to act impartially and in the public interest. They considered how far the BBC has achieved this aim and whether the licence fee expectations are justifiable for each household.

Lots Ofcom-ments to consider

young child smiling

Primary school


“It is too expensive. The cost of living is too high so it will help people pay for food, clothes and other things if they didn't have to pay for the TV.“

teenager looking thoughtful

Secondary school


“The BBC is a reliable, neutral voice. It has been around for so long and most people trust it.”

teenager with hands in pockets and smiling


West Yorkshire

“The BBC needs to use its funding better, however it is a good resource and we should keep it. They have a responsibility, as a public owned service to use its platform for the public good.”

Licence to thrill?

doughnut chart

  • Our 5-11 pupils were deciding whether we should end the TV license fee this week.
  • Over half believed that we should, with the cost of living crisis appearing most frequently as a reason in the comments.
  • Many pupils also mentioned that they didn't watch the BBC and preferred other subscription services (YouTube, Netflix etc.)
doughnut chart

  • Our 11-16+ students were deciding whether the BBC should be 'switched off' this week.
  • Around 80% voted 'No', believing that the merits of the BBC outweighed the cost.
  • In the comments, most showed an appreciation for the impartiality and varied content offered on the BBC.
  • The results differed to those of our youngest pupils this week; this could be because of a generational shift in attitudes or the finality of the phrase 'switching off'.
  • Some comments suggested a reduction in the cost of the license fee to help households with the cost of living.

You spoke...they listened

"The results of the vote are very interesting when we put them in the context of the wider media landscape. Video-on-demand services funded via subscription (Netflix, Amazon Prime) or advertising (YouTube, TikTok) have disrupted the industry in recent years, which has subsequently led to even more scrutiny being placed on the licence fee. While this model may seem outdated to our younger voters, our Secondary and College voters appear to recognise more value in the BBC’s output; suggesting that the BBC’s programming, particularly it’s impartiality in news broadcasting, is deemed more valuable by older audiences. While it does seem unlikely that the BBC will be ‘switched off’ anytime soon, these changing viewing habits coupled with an evolving media landscape could well have an impact on how the BBC is funded in the future."

Conor O'Grady

Digital Manager, Cartoon Network

cartoon network logo

Do we still Marvel at the big screen?

overall results for the week in doughnut form

In the 2020/21 academic year, we asked voters “Will cinemas disappear in your lifetime?” This VoteTopic took place at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic when cinema all but vanished due to lockdown restrictions.

Like with the BBC, young people on the whole voted that cinema would remain and highlighted the merits of having the cinema as an option. The comments described cinema as an experience that can’t be replicated by the likes of Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime at home.

Equally, this week our ‘No’ comments explained that the impartiality of the BBC and its ability to cater to all ages made it stand out from its competition.