The BBC Quietly Censors Its Own Archives

Policy

A BBC logo is seen at the company’s main offices in west London
(Toby Melville/Reuters)
Out of public view, the state-owned broadcaster has been altering old episodes of its shows to make them ‘suitable’ for modern listeners.




NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE

R
eflecting upon George Orwell’s many authoritative predictions can grow tiresome for writer and reader alike. And yet, given our present predicament, one might ask what choice one truly has. “The sinister fact about literary censorship in England,” Orwell wrote back in 1945, “is that it is largely voluntary.” And so, indeed, it is. Over the weekend, the Daily Telegraph reported that “an anonymous Radio 4 Extra listener” had “discovered the BBC had been quietly editing repeats of shows over the past few years to be more in keeping with social mores.” To which the BBC said . . . well,

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