Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

Think tanks – getting it right

Posted on February 25th, 2011 by Bernie Russell
A lot of the news we get starts off with reports from think tanks. In keeping with its public service remit, the BBC is always keen to describe these organisations in clear terms. Read the rest of this entry »

Evan ‘elp us

Posted on October 8th, 2010 by Bernie Russell

Wonderful moment for Evan Davies on R4’s Today programme this morning. They’d found him a deserving poor person to pour scorn on the government’s plans to cap benefit payments to large families.

Or so they thought. But it all went a bit wrong.

The poor are always with us
It is axiomatic at the BBC the poor are downtrodden, oppressed, aching to be liberated by their betters, etc. etc; and that the women in particular are all moneyless versions of Lady Toynbee.

Alas, the interviewee proved to be neither.

Eileen McCoy, a robust and articulate Catholic mother of ten, wasted no time in informing Evan that her construction-worker husband had been priced out of his job by immigrants; and that the council had given all the large houses to the ethnic minorities.

And she blamed the previous government! Way off-message!

Nurse! Nurse!
You could hear Evan almost fainting with horror as he tried to move the discussion on.

Fee news at the BBC

Posted on November 26th, 2009 by Bernie Russell
Free news at the BBC
The BBC has announced that it won’t be charging users for its online news service.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/nov/24/bbc-wont-charge-online-news
Trust me, I’m a chairman
BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons said that the corporation has “no intention of diluting BBC commitment to universal access to free news online”.
Fee at last
The more perceptive among viewers, readers, listeners, surfers, etc. will have spotted the weirdness in this.
The BBC already charges for online news. They charge everyone via the licence fee.
They top-slice a chunk of the fee and use it to fund www.bbc.co.uk.
(Every time I think about how the licence fee works, it seems weirder.
Nuff definitely not said.)

The BBC has announced that it won’t be charging users for its online news service. Read the rest of this entry »

Nice big earner

Posted on November 12th, 2009 by Bernie Russell
Nice big earner
Judging by the salaries of its senior management, the BBC is clearly weathering the recession reasonably well.
Licence fee to print money
A quick burst of arithmetic via my calculator revealed, for example, that senior managers in the Journalism Group pull in more than £4.5m a year in total.
Fee speech
OK, it’s wouldn’t pay Jonathan Ross’s salary.
Still … I mean, it’s not bad, is it? For an outfit that gets its money from a compulsory levy on everyone with a TV.
No matter what they earn.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/running/bbcstructure/index.shtml
From Labour MP  via Twitter
http://twitter.com/tom_watson/

Judging by the salaries of its senior management, the BBC is clearly weathering the recession reasonably well.

Licence fee to print money
A quick burst of arithmetic via my calculator revealed, for example, that senior managers in the Journalism Group pull in more than £4.5m a year in total.

Fee speech
OK, it wouldn’t pay Jonathan Ross’s salary.

Still … I mean, it’s not bad, is it? For an outfit that gets its money from a compulsory levy on everyone with a TV.

No matter what they earn.

From Labour MP Tom Watson via Twitter.

Tories at the Beeb? Dream on…

Posted on September 24th, 2009 by Bernie Russell
More Tories at the Beeb? Dream on…
Shadow culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, wants the BBC News to recruit more Conservatives to counter its ‘innate liberal bias’.
http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=44372&c=1
There is absolutely no chance of that happening. None at all. It’s a fantasy. Forget it.
Proof?
Here’s one among many.
Today’s R4 programme, ‘Costing the Earth’ was about the creation of an energy ‘Supergrid’ linking renewable resources across Europe.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006r4wn
Presenter Tom Heap spoke to two politicians: Liberal Democrat Energy spokesman Simon Hughes and his Tory equivalent Greg Clark.
Shhhhhhhhh…
Hughes was heard in almost reverential silence as he called for EU involvement in creating the grid, said big business wouldn’t do the job, and criticised the Tories for their energy policy. He was not interrupted once – his views went completely unchallenged.
Hissssssss…
Greg Clark said he didn’t want a ‘grand projet’, and played down the role of the EU, saying any project would involve non-EU members (Norway), as well as African countries.
Heaps of questions
Heaps challenged him straight away, asking if his views were influenced by Tory Euro-scepticism, and asking if Tory plans meant we “would be at the mercy of big business’.
The remainder of the programme was devoted to showing that plans to involve Africa were ‘more controversial’, and would mean exploiting the continent’s poor.
Ask me another
No problem with that. It’s sound journalism. But why wasn’t Hughes asked if Liberal Europhilia influenced their views? Why wasn’t he asked if his policies means we would be at the mercy of the Brussels bureaucracy?
You know why. I know why.

Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt wants the BBC to recruit more Conservatives to counter its ‘innate liberal bias’.

There is absolutely no chance of that happening. None at all. It’s a fantasy. Forget it. But even assuming the BBC did recruit some token Tories (it won’t), that wouldn’t help. Read the rest of this entry »

Murdoch was right

Posted on August 31st, 2009 by Bernie Russell
Murdoch was right, says Guardian editor
Peter Preston has written a thoughtful response to James Murdoch’s lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/aug/30/media-bbc-edinburgh-internet-recession
He says that, stripped of the rhetoric, he agrees with Murdoch about the anti-competitive threat posed to independent media by the BBC.
And he calls for a “civilised discussion, not an Edinburgh shouting match, in order to start finding media solutions”.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/aug/30/robert-peston-james-murdoch-bbc
Good luck with that one. Robert Peston has already had a slanging  match with Murdoch.
And the BBC has circled the wagons.
BBC1 controller Jay Hunt said “I think we can be pretty confident about what we do”, and denied that the BBC – which spends £150m a year on its web site – is distorting the market.
Jana Bennett, the BBC’s director of vision (?) said: “Given the way the audience and the public want to trust their news, I think it would be a regrettable step to go for patrician news as if that is really going to help public debate and civil society.”
(Not too sure what that means. It sounds very…er…visionary. I’m assuming she thinks Murdoch is wrong as well.)
Here’s the whole lecture, if you want to make your own judgment.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/video/2009/aug/29/james-murdoch-edinburgh-festival-mactaggart

Peter Preston has written a thoughtful response to James Murdoch’s lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Read the rest of this entry »