Hugh Pickens writes: "News Corporation's James Murdoch says that a "dominant" BBC threatens independent journalism in the UK and that free news on the web provided by the BBC made it "incredibly difficult" for private news organizations to ask people to pay for their news. "It is essential for the future of independent digital journalism that a fair price can be charged for news to people who value it," says Murdoch. "The expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision." In common with the public broadcasting organizations of many other European countries, the BBC is funded by a television license fee charged to all households owning a television capable of receiving broadcasts. Murdoch's News Corporation, one of the world's largest media conglomerates, owns the Times, the Sunday Times and Sun newspapers and pay TV provider BSkyB in the UK and the New York Post, Wall Street Journal, and Fox News TV in the US. Former BBC director general Greg Dyke responded that Murdoch's argument that the BBC was a "threat" to independent journalism was fundamentally wrong. "Journalism is going through a very difficult time — not only in this country but every country in the world — because newspapers, radio and television in the commercial world are all having a very rough time," says Dyke. "That is nothing to do with the BBC, that is just... what's happening.""
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