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The moment Andrew Gilligan broke the covenant of trust between the national broadcast media and the government, with that infamous 45 minutes quote, questioning the very legitimacy of the war in Iraq, the BBC, under its current guise, was doomed, not only under New Labour but the Tory's too, the pledge to get rid of Six Music and the Asian Network a rather desperate plea by the Director General to Cameron not to go further. Gilligan was correct to do what he did, diligent journalism indeed, and was proven right too, but when a government goes to war over its 'national interests abroad' it expects its main TV station to fall in line to tighten public support. The BBC fell in line for the Falklands back in the early 80s under Thatcher and I don't recall the word 'oil' being mentioned one single time back then, which we now know from recent drilling events in the South Atlantic is probably the real reason why we defended the islands full of penguins and sheep poo. The top 60 BBC board members and executives are paid more than the Prime Minister for that exact reason.
If you don't entertain any conspiracy theories over the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq then read this article from the Guardian and you may rethink your argument. This was really Gilligan's point...
Today, content wise, you can't help but feel a little bit sorry for the BBC, however painful that license fee. They are a heavily funded public service with 20,000 staff and so their remit is to provide niche programming that's an alternative to commercial broadcasting, by its very nature not a big audience grabber and so unfairly judged on that alone. That type of telly and radio can be very boring to the 80% of the audience it's not aimed at and so they get slated for showing dull telly by that 80%, the majority. Pundits who should no better then rail into them for that boring telly and so the BBC then dumb it down to the lowest common denominator to get bigger audiences to justify their license fee and we get Hole in the Whole and bloody Wipeout, probably the most moronic prime time television ever made.
Searching for the category of the 'BBC' on dooyoo kind of summed up where the corporation is right now, the BBC listed in all its little bits here, no one single body, everything from bbc/news to bbc/kids to write on, the corporation
Pictures of bbc.co.uk
50 BBC grandees earn more than the PM
just too big now. Once digital radio was pushed then they had no choice but to start digital stations and so no surprise those audiences were small. I, like you, bought a digital radio but hardly ever use it, if just because it wastes electricity. I never had any problem with MW or FM and only bought my Pure One because they said they were going turn the old signals off soon. But it's half the digital stations on the dial that have already gone under. A lot of these new stations were purely created to hit quotas, multicultural, gender and political ones, be it the audiences or BBC staff employed, 1-XTra and the Asian Network to name but two. Because older British Asians tend to listen to local stations in their own language and the younger ones go for the stations we all listen to at that age there's no real audience for the Asian Network. Apparently 1-Xtra has no audience and one of the reasons is the absurd Tim Westwood, hardly a black role model, his silly street patois not what black people want to listen to. Even Westwood has admitted he's talking to no one on air during his show. It will be interesting to see if the Asian communities kick up a fuss over losing their station, and if they do will Six Music, an extravagant middle-class treat, be cut instead, the plan all along if you ask me, the white middle-class majority in this country sadly the least amount of clout to complain these days.
Listeners of these stations would argue about waste elsewhere, the BBC's main building project in London alone over running disastrously, now looking at a bill in access of one billion pounds. So extravagant are they that they even built an additional studio in Venice for the Euro 2008 soccer championships to get a better view for the backdrop, that costing 250k. Alan Hansen and his co match of the day pundits not based in London run up a bizarre two grand chauffeur bill a week through the season to get to the show. Why doesn't the BBC employ local big name ex-players in that case?
I personally watch the intelligent terrestrial channels of BBC2 and Channel Four, ITV and BBC1 clearly aimed at the 'proles', soap operas and The One Show not for me. Some nights it's so bad I weld the button on to Channel Four and forget about them, the other channels content dull or repeat packed. If the BBC wants to make cuts then why not dump BBC3 and BBC4, shifting that often decent content on to the main channels? ITV 4 could definitely do that. It just seems the media got carried away with digital TV.
But we are here to talk about the website, also facing a 25% cut in funding, costing a mind boggling £100 million a year to run, an annual overspend of £31 million not helping their critics. But it brings in an impressive 29 million visitors every week so at least it works. One of the rags I work for the, Chronicle & Echo, has just two blokes running their website.
For that sort of money you expect the BBC website to be very good, which it is, but most of that spend is on journalists. The Chronicle & Echo website is basically the written rag cut n pasted up (without spell-check, in many cases) once a day and so it's unclear why the BBC needs to employ what is effectively duplication here. Why can't there be just one news room for all BBC TV, Radio and online news content? Why do they need separate journalists and admin to collate the same news? The £20 million pound cut would suggest that may well be coming, or something along those lines, the websites set to lose its teen services of Blast and Switch by 2013.
I do trust the BBC news more than any other. Why? Andrew Gilligan is why. The journalists are drawn to the BBC because the world trusts its truth, BBC World the most watched news service on the planet, the same with the BBC News website. BBC salaries are low compared to commercial news organisations and if you watch ITV news you can see the magazine flavour to it, certainly more divisive, some stories included purely to parry with the adverts. Although they provide news they want you to think their way and keep you in a mood to imbibe those commercials, why their weather forecasts are always positive!
The BBC website is not flash in any way because it doesn't carry any advertising...no applet sapping videos or animations racing around the front page. But because the websites budget is so huge they batter the competition on hits, ITV and the like unable to draw enough people to their websites to sell those commercials. This is the biggest bugbear the commercial world has with the BBC, especially during a decade of declining revenues. The internet is wear advertisers want to be now and the BBC is in their face, where most of us go for our news and sport online. I think ITV deserve that for still not mentioning oil and Iraq some 6 years after the war. Tell us the truth and we will come visit your website guys.
The news section is pretty good and bang up to date; the real edge the internet has over TV, punters also able to hyperlink through to relating and archive information on the breaking story. The sport section is my first choice for sport online and I also enjoy using the 606 message board. 606 is a cracking board which enables sports fans to have their say on their sports club, everything covered from football to ice hockey, snooker to women's netball. If you post on their then people in the sport are reading it. If you critic, for example, Robbie Savage on the Derby County board then he will read it. The 606 threads tie in nicely with the sport content on those same clubs and if your comment or quote is sharp or relevant enough you will be married into the story.
Where it needs to cut back is content is the stuff not related to its TV or radio output. This is an extravagant website and they even have a segment called Weird & Wonderful. They quite simply hoover up any revenue chances for other commercial sites online by doing this, not their remit. Religion and music is fine as is gardening and local news but health and science and nature makes it feel like a schools website.
Nations & Local - England,Scotland/Alba,Wales/Cymru,N.I.News
Politics, UK News, World News...
BBC iPlayer, Programmes, Stations...
Religion & Ethic Multifaith Calendar, Thought for the Day,
Quizzes... Science & Nature
Sport - Cricket, Football, Formula 1
Teens - Bitesize, Slink, Switch...
TV- BBC iPlayer, Programmes, Channels...
You can set your BBC front-page up how you like it and put the services you use on that front page. I have the Iplayer page, business, sport and news as my main ones. You can have your TV listings there if you so choose or the weather and cooking. It's a huge beast and you can see why those non funded struggling commercial news sites are jealous.
I think we get good value for the license fee but think students in halls of residence should get it reduced from the full amount. I really think the beeb does a great job catering for a wide audience range.
livelylad 14.03.2010 12:57
seanbond87 14.03.2010 12:42
Another fantastic read, but I'm all out of E's again!!