BBC Charter
The BBC Charter established the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

(or British Broadcasting Corporation). An accompanying Agreement recognises its editorial independence
Editorial independence
Editorial independence is the freedom of editors to make decisions without interference from the owners of a publication. Editorial independence is tested, for instance, if a newspaper runs articles that may be unpopular with its advertising clientele....

 and sets out its public obligations in detail.

The most recent Charter was granted to the BBC on 19 September 2006. It took full effect from 1 January 2007. (The text of the Royal Charter and Agreement are available on the BBC Trust site).

A number of important changes were made in the latest Charter to the Corporation's management and purpose:
  • Abolition of the Board of Governors, and their replacement by the BBC Trust
    BBC Trust
    The BBC Trust is the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation. It is operationally independent of BBC management and external bodies, and aims to act in the best interests of licence fee payers....

  • A redefinition of the BBC's "public services" (which are considered its prime function):
    • Sustaining citizenship and civil society;
    • Promoting education and learning;
    • Stimulating creativity and cultural excellence;
    • Representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities;
    • Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK;
    • Helping to deliver to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services, and taking a leading role in the switchover to digital television.
  • The BBC must display at least one of the following characteristics in all content: high quality, originality, innovation, to be challenging and to be engaging.
  • The BBC must demonstrate that it provides public value in all of its major activities.
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