Cityvisitor blog

Should BBC presenter pay be revealed?

The salaries earned by the BBC’s top presenters are to be revealed.

It is the first time that the corporation has let the public know about what its biggest stars are paid, and I have mixed feelings about it.

My initial thoughts are that it is a good thing. As TV licence payers, the BBC accrues millions of pounds from TV watchers across the country. In the same way that the population deserves to know what the country’s taxes are spent on, there is an argument to say that people have a right to know where the licence fee is being spent.

However, at the same time, if you put yourself in these stars’ shoes, would you be happy to have your wages revealed?

I know I wouldn’t be.

The amount of money you are paid is private between you and employer. I find it difficult that people in most industries would advertise how much they are paid on Facebook, Twitter, social media, or just to people in day-to-day life.

Therefore, I can image the celebrities such as Gary Lineker not being overly happy about their salaries being advertised.

Another important factor is the unfair advantage that the publication of this information could give to the BBC’s competitors. If ITV, Sky and other broadcasters know how much figures such as Andrew Marr and Laura Kuenssberg get paid, this makes the BBC vulnerable to these other big players swooping in and cherry-picking their best talent. For the people in question, they also wouldn’t have to publicise their pay packets if they work for a private company as well.

There is a saying that you have to pay for quality and the same is surely true for people working in the television industry, no matter where that money comes from.

Overall, in theory, I would normally support transparency from any organisations, but I think the BBC publicising wages could have an adverse effect on our public television network, which we should cherish and not demonise.

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