Friday, March 5, 2010

The BBC paid for my education

The BBC paid for my education. Much in the same way that Sun has
paid the mortgage on the house my little people live in and I hope
Oracle is going to pay for part of my pension. My father worked as a
BBC transmitter engineer for over 35 years. The last 25 or so at Blaenplwyf, about 4 miles south of Aberystwyth, servicing transmitters across
Wales and the Marches. I have some residual love for the BBC as a
result. Penri seems to be not so sure, but at least he is writing stuff, making is views available. I can't find the other candidates for Ceredigion doing the same and I have looked.

I don't have a problem with the BBC's one nation view itself, to me it is a side effect of the history of this Island, neither good nor bad, just how
it is today. The BBC is London centric, a reflection. Our transport
network, politics, finance, business and most other walks of life in
the UK are focussed on the south east. France is Paris centric, the US
is east coast city centric. Ireland is Dublin centric. Wales as a
subset is Cardiff centric. It may not be the way forward, but it is
how things are now and critics could cast a wider net than just the
BBC. We in violent agreement about the need and quality for
professional, independent reporting like John Simpson rather
depressing reporting about birth defects in Iraq yesterday which was
even handed and very professional or John Humphreys pit bull approach to shining a light on our political masters weezle words(wrong way
round, but still) both of which can only come from an institution free
from the perils of the market and funded by something like the licence fee. I cant wait (but will have to) for the next series of "Being
Human", the acting is out of this world in a very good way and the type of Drama only the BBC seems able to pull of.

We are also in violent agreement about the dangers of Murdock Corp. to the quality of media, both written and TV based.

Sky is more expensive than just the subscription, there is also a Sky
tax which I have to pay. I don't have Sky, but I still have to pay an
overhead on goods and services advertised on Sky (same applies to Google, but I use that). I am amazed and saddened that one organization can control so much of the UK media without being hauled up for competition concerns. Maybe it has some political friends, perish the thought.

I offer the perspective that the big problem with the BBC is not the
corporation itself, but its critics. The BBC has little scope to be
experiments, make mistakes and learn from them as an institution. The Ross and Brand episode was unfortunate, but what do you expect when a junior producer, employed by one of the presenter's production company, is given oversight responsibility. A small error, which resulted in
minor offense, was blown into a national scandal, possibly to fit an
wider agenda of those fanning the flames. The BBC needs to make mistakes, take risks, get things wrong so it can push the boundaries of what is
possible in broadcasting in a way that the market would not tolerate.

From an interview on the Today program this week, it was expressed
that BBC was management heavy. Is this a side effect of focusing on
pleasing the critics rather than the viewers and listeners.

What do you call a critic of critics?

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