Europe's broadcasters warn the UK to safeguard the BBC

"Diminishing the BBC at home risks diminishing Britain abroad," so say the big bosses of the Nordic region's public broadcasters.

In an open letter to the Guardian a selection of director generals for public service broadcasters in the Nordic region have urged the UK government to preserve the integrity of the BBC.

The letter, published last night, warns "diminishing the BBC at home risks diminishing Britain abroad" because of the high-esteem BBC content and its services are held in.

"Changes to the system should serve to strengthen the independence of the broadcaster, not weaken it," the letter continues.

This comes after the government last week announced the appointment of former Bank of England deputy governor, Sir David Clementi, to lead an independent review into how the BBC is governed and regulated. His report will be published early next year, with proposals for a new structure of governance.

Not just because of Dr. Who

But the director generals from Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Finland aren't offering their support for the BBC purely out of a love for Dr. Who - the BBC is held up as a 'beacon' for other public service broadcasters across the globe.

"In times of global crisis, both economic and humanitarian,'' continues the letter, "a trusted, impartial media company like the BBC is a vital element of the democratic infrastructure, informing and educating people."

It goes on to talk about how the BBC is often looked at as an ideal model for how independent media ought to be organised and governed in new, emerging democracies.

Finally it explains how, when the review eventually makes its recommendations next year, it needs to remember and take into account the BBC's international role as a public service broadcast trendsetter.

"It is something to be proud of," it concludes. "The quality of the BBC inspires us all to do better, to better serve the needs of our democratic societies."

If you've ever worried about the 40p/day cost of the license fee then just spare a thought for what the BBC means beyond these shores.

Via The Guardian