BBC > American News Because of Conflicting Incentives

The BBC has a history of stating, as a matter of policy, that it refuses to cover certain stories, or cover them in a certain way, because of how it will affect the country. Some examples:

  • Not going overly into how murderer’s did their work, to avoid glamorizing them

  • Not endlessly playing tragedy stories because people can’t look away

  • Not reducing to the lowest common denominator (sex/entertainment) even though it sells more

This has happened occasionally in the U.S., but as a matter of overall policy the U.S. is far more willing to do these things than the BBC is.

So here’s the question:

They’re government run. So why isn’t our news better when ours is corporate run?

The answer is simple: Our news is driven by money, and their news is driven by what’s best for the country.

Once that sinks in, then realize that the same thing applies to most other public-oriented services:

  • Healthcare

  • Police

  • Education

  • Etc.

In sum, where human services are concerned, the mixing in of money as the priority is highly corrosive.

The free-market system should be used as an incubator for public, government-run services. The free market should design how they run to make sure they’re efficient, and then the government should run them so that their incentives remain aligned.

That’s the proper synergy between the public and private sector when it comes to essential services.

Related posts: