I’ve just heard the oddest piece on Radio 4’s Today programme. [Edit: According to Martin Stabe, it was by a media commentator called Steve Hewlett, which explains a lot. You can listen again.]
I think it was supposed to be a news report but, uncharacteristically of Today, it made absolutely no effort to even try and appear objective.
It came across as an appeal, nay a plea, to Radio 4 listeners and BBC executives to support and preserve the station’s current methods of compiling the news agenda.
It looked at the most read stories on the BBC website last year and made the rather obvious point that, just because they were popular, didn’t mean they were the most important stories.
I would have thought BBC executives would have understood that “most read” and “most emailed” stories are more a reflection on the kind of material people will link to on the web, rather than its importance. Don’t they? From this piece it suggests they don’t.
The tone was one of “big bad web” and there was also mention of 4radio, so perhaps it was a rallying cry to try and encourage listeners to stay loyal.
But, to be honest, if Today had an important point to make about the web, I think I missed it.
Today, being on holiday, I’ve had the misfortune to witness the departure of two BBC presenters from their respective shows – Dermot Murnaghan from Breakfast and Fiona Bruce from Crimewatch.
Now I like them both as presenters, but I have to wonder whether its fair to subject the viewer to the self-indulgent twaddle that seems to arise from such a departure.
Nostalgic video clips, co-presenters heaping on the compliments, the departing presenter praising the show to the hilt. Please people! Save it for the bar after work.
Why does TV do this? It is certainly not for the viewers’ benefit. Is it because TV is more steeped in the cult of personality? Or is it just the pure “lovey-ness” of the medium. Whatever the reason, it makes for cringeworthy viewing.
Ah! How I wish this were one of my interviews.
Mr Gilligan, of ‘sexed up’ dossiers, weapons of mass destruction and Dr David Kelly fame/infamy is being interviewed by journalism student/blogger Dave Lee.
This will form part of Dave’s dissertation and he is crowdsourcing questions to ask the ex-BBC journalist. So, go! Ask questions!
I’m very jealous. Back in the days when I was a literature student I did try and get hold of Gabriel Garcia Marquez but, oddly enough, was unsuccessful.
I’m working on the BBC job cuts story today.
I’ll blog more on it later, but – just in case you haven’t seen it – the original eight-page press release is here.
It gave me vertigo just staring at it all.