Thursday, 8 November 2018

Themes without variations

An earlier post looked at the first few episodes of podcast offshoot of the Today programme, Beyond Today, hosted by Tina Daheley and Matthew Price, and found them to be little different to the Today programme (except that, being aimed at a younger audience, Matthew Price was speaking more slowly and pretending not to know stuff, such how to pronounce the new Brazilian president's name). 

Overall, I thought that the themes - including fake news, hate speech, middle-class drug abuse and concerns about Instagram and WhatsApp - were very BBC/Guardian-type themes. 

The four subsequent episodes have focused on (1) diversity in the media (especially class), (2) #MeToo, (3) whether misogyny should be considered a hate crime....and (4) the US midterms. 

Again, lots of very BBC/Guardian-type themes there. 

The one about diversity in the media - an extended discussion between Tina D and Amol Rajan - was very informal, more a chat even, and very interesting. Tina D, in particular, considers herself working class and, like Amol Rajan, thinks there's a significant problem of under-representation of working class people like her at the BBC. Indeed, Amol argued that the reason the BBC kept failing to see things coming - Brexit, Trump, the rise of Corbyn, various elections - is because of that under-representation of working class people. And he may very well be right about that. 

So, yes, more working class people at the BBC might well help expand the BBC's mind, but it's diversity of opinion that really matters...and, as Beyond Today is proving, the BBC mindset is a very resilient and rigid thing. I doubt that many of the readers of this blog or most people (working class or otherwise) would have come up the topics the makers of Beyond Today have been coming up with as the concerns of Beyond Today seem to spring from a very particular world view. That way of thinking needs a massive amount of fresh air letting in. 


  1. I heard Amol Rajan banging on about class inequality within the media on his Media Show. He sounded very passionate about it...though he didn't tell us if he pursued class equality while he had the chance at The Independent.

    Amol is a real operator. I think he - and some others - are now positioning themselves for a Corbyn government. I have predicted that a Corbyn govenrment will immediately put pressure on about "class equality" as a way of spreading their influence within the BBC and elsewhere. I think we may be looking at the future DG under a Corbyn government - I am sure Amol would rise to the challenge.

  2. The BBC liberal metropolitan class haven’t got a clue how to relate to the British working class. As you say Craig, everything is seen through the bubble they live in.

    Any who were from working class backgrounds have to cast that aside when they join the BBC and conform to the luvvie liberal culture that infects the BBC.

    As a result the vast majority of output is aimed at the ‘educated liberal middle class’ for want of a better phrase.

    The real working class and those in the conservative shires beyond London are despised and ridiculed because the BBC doesn’t know how to engage or relate to them.

    What we get fed is highbrow left wing liberalism (Radio 4) or faux working class progs like EastEnders or the increasingly PC gone mad programming like Dr Who and Bodyguard.

  3. It's no surprise that it was chat - or even chatter considering the way he speaks. Rajan writes in the same informal manner as he speaks, which is strange for the editor of a newspaper. And 'speaks' doesn't do justice either. He gabbles. It's horrible to listen to on the radio, which highlights the voice quality more than television does. I don't think I could sit through a podcast when I can't endure it on the radio.