Friday 13 December 2013

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Both this afternoon's Feedback on Radio 4 and tonight's Newswatch on the News Channel led with the 2000+ complaints about the BBC's coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela. Those complainants felt (like me) that the BBC has gone Malala...Madiba mad in recent days. 

Also on both programmes, the BBC's Head of News, Mary Hockaday, was wheeled out to say that the BBC always takes viewers'/listeners' concerns on board but that, despite that, those viewers/listeners are all wrong and the  BBC's coverage was absolutely spot-on. 

Moreover, she made it perfectly clear that the corporation will continue to completely ignore those complainants' concerns and carry on regardless, clearing its schedules on Sunday (for example) to cover Nelson Mandela's funeral in full - however long it takes - on both BBC One and the BBC News Channel. 

'Isn't that too much?', asked Samira on Newswatch.

No, replied Mary, as BBC Two will carry Breakfast (and presumably the Andrew Marr Show) - as if that means that viewers who don't want to watch the funeral in full, live, can find alternative BBC viewing. 

I have to say that such asylum-seeking viewers are extremely unlikely to find that this Sunday morning's Breakfast or Andrew Marr Show (if it's on) will be havens at all. Both programmes are bound to be just as full of Malalamania Madibamania as the live coverage on BBC One and the News Channel, to be sure, to be sure.

She also said that the BBC has had good stats about the license-fee payer's interest in their coverage, citing (among other things) the BBC News website...

...but we here at Is? and commenters at Biased BBC have been presenting regular snapshots of what is interesting BBC website readers through the site's 'Most read' function (featured on their homepage) ,and that has revealed a staggering lack of interest from BBC website readers, with Nelson Mandela stories almost entirely absent from their Top 10 for much of the time.

[The sign-language interpreter has sparked some interest though!]

If you're wondering what's interesting BBC News website readers now it's:

1: 'Shooting' at school in Denver, US
2: Explosion in Cathedral Quarter
3: N Korea purge sparks stability fears
4: Prince Harry reaches South Pole
5: James Bond is an 'impotent drunk'
6: The death of an aspirant journalist
7: Pupil, 14, found hanged at school
8: BT apologises for 'poor' TV service
9: Nigella 'lied in court', PA says
10: Failing free school ordered to close

By the by, foreign news stories aren't always a pull, but I have noticed that whenever a news site (and not just the BBC) offers its readers a juicy North Korea/Kim Jong-fat story, they do seem pretty eager to read it.

I can understand that as I almost invariably click on North Korea stories. There's something about that murderous, communist-monarchical madhouse with it's young, fat, oh-so-ronery leader that just makes articles about it very hard to avoid clicking on.

Talking of which, a joke...
BBC foreign correspondent: "So, how's life in North Korea?"
North Korean citizen: "Well, I can't complain."
Update 8.45 (14/12/2013)

The BBC website is again leading with Nelson Mandela. The most read articles now are:

1: The map that caused a century of trouble
2: Lord Roberts of Conwy dies, aged 83
3: Forecasters predict 'severe gales'
4: 'Left for dead' dog makes recovery
5: Alcohol link in Briton's US death
6: Man and woman found dead in house
7: Online scam targets ski tourists
8: Readers' radical solutions to protect cyclists
9: Bomb explodes in Cathedral Quarter
10: Shooting in Colorado high school

1 comment:

  1. Mary Hockaday reveals herself as a Jay Hunt figure...and we know where that all leads.
    In fact, the more these beige nomarks in the editing suites are put in front of mics(even the padded trustie ones of their BBC employees) -the more of a laugh they turn out to be.
    And every Partridge cliche of the suits at the BBC becomes the truth.
    Basically the rule is to look at where the BBC is pointing...turn exactly 180degrees from that bearing...and tug them down to the depths if at all possible.


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