Yeah, the BBC is controlled by an independent board, which ultimately is appointed by government but has a lot off freedom. The head guys had to resign over the DavidKelly affair, but this was over technicality (as was Blair’s exhoneration for misleading the country). But in general the checks and balances are about as good as you can expect.

In theory, it doesn’t shouldn’t work. Americans (in particular) and others are brainwashed into thinking that a government appointed tax-funded media giant is an abomination. In practice, it sort of does.

The US is run by RupertMurdoch, Italy’s president is Berlosconi, Brazil is dominated by Globo etc. If the government doesn’t run the media, the media will run the government.