This is a somewhat UK-centred question.
For as long as I can remember, UK governments have placed increasingly tough demands on the BBC. For example, they must ensure that the people on screen and radio are representative in a demographic sense of the consumers they serve, and recently they had to publish details of how much they pay their "talent" and so forth.
I don't have a problem with these requirements. But I do have a problem that they are demanded of the BBC and not other broadcasters who operate in the UK.
I've only heard the glib justification that it's because of "the unique way the BBC is funded". But actually, I don't think the BBC's funding gives it any privilege over commercial broadcasters.
Sure, the simple act of owning a TV means I must pay a "tax" that funds the BBC. But let's be clear, the simple act of purchasing food/heat/light and other essentials means I am funding commercial broadcasters, because it would be practically impossible to buy most of life's necessities without purchasing things whose price includes the cost of advertising on commercial broadcasters.
I can choose which advertised items I buy, but I would argue that I cannot reasonably choose to buy no advertised items. The numbers are hidden from us, but I would expect most annual shopping bills include an advertising cost that's larger than the BBC license fee. I don't have a problem with this, but I'm trying to make the case that UK consumers fund commercial broadcasters just as certainly as we fund the BBC. So why are strict rules applied to the BBC's conduct when those same rules don't apply to its commercial competitors?
Of course I know there are strict rules applied to all broadcasters in the UK, but the BBC has been made a special case, and that seems wrong to me.
I understand why many politicians do not like the BBC, and of course I understand why the commercial press would argue that the BBC is "different". But, behind all the politics, is there any actual justification?