London: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been advised to go upmarket and guard against "acceptance of the shoddy or the vulgar".
Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten warned against a "lowering of cultural standards" or an "acceptance of the shoddy or the vulgar".
He also said the broadcaster should not be wary of being tagged "intellectual", the Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
He believes radio and TV should introduce listeners and viewers to "good books, great paintings or beautiful music ... which improved the quality of civic life in the country".
Patten said audiences should be offered "the respect they deserve" and the broadcaster should make a "bold assertion of excellence", standing "four-square" against any decline into mediocrity.
Patten also said the BBC should be able to demonstrate that Britain was not "going to the dogs" and should be a "force for optimism" in difficult times.