As the renewal of its royal charter approaches, this essay collection offers a diverse array of views on how the BBC can be reformed and renewed as a democratic, public institution that enriches the modern media landscape and rises to new challenges.

A popular national institution that shapes and sustains core elements of our public culture, the BBC enriches the UK, and gives us influence and prestige around the world. But there are also more utilitarian justifications for it: with the licence fee costing 40p a day, the BBC is great value for money, and is the bedrock of our economically dynamic creative sectors.

That is not to say, however, that the BBC can stand still while all around it changes, or that it does not need to be reformed in order to address its inefficiencies and inadequacies, as well as its vulnerabilities.

As the broadcaster approaches the renewal of its royal charter in 2016, this collection of essays addresses the modernisation as well as conservation of the BBC. Discussing issues of competition, governance, transparency, plurality, regulation, decentralisation and, of course, the future of the licence fee, the authors examine the BBC and the wider context in which it operates from a rich variety of viewpoints. As it approaches its centenary, we offer ideas for how the Beeb can be reformed and renewed as a democratic, public institution that serves the UK of the 21st century just as well as it did that of the 20th.