23 FEBRUARY 2002, Page 35

Youth appeal

From Sally Osman Sir: Thankfully, Greg Dyke — unlike Stephen Glover (Media studies, 16 February) — realises that society has changed somewhat, and that the BBC is there for everyone, not just an elite of Mr Glover's making.

The BBC remains as true to its values and principles as ever, but needs to find new ways of making those values resonate with contemporary audiences of all ages. That doesn't mean 'clumbing down' — a hackneyed, meaningless phrase that is the last resort of lazy journalists.

Conventional political coverage will remain, but finding new ways of engaging younger — by which we mean under 45 — audiences is important if the BBC, as a publicly funded, public-service broadcaster, is to encourage democratic debate. Does Mr Glover disagree?

Even highly selective viewers and listeners could tell him that our news outlets have given significant coverage to the Mittal affair. But never let the facts get in the way of a rant.

Sally Osman

Head of Communications. BBC, Broadcasting House, London WI