Saturday 22 March 2014

"The BBC doesn’t need a wreath, it needs a Reith"

Alan at Biased BBC has generously highlighted a very interesting comment from Milverton - a comment I also thought was excellent, and with which I pretty much agree. 

I'm with him when he says that "poor journalistic standards led by a liberal groupthink, and the demands of rolling news" are the real problem, and that many BBC programmes seem to "run with issues taken straight from the Guardian’s Comment Is Free section to fill in the time between Labour talking points and press releases from left of centre think tanks and charities" (such as Radio 4's Sunday!) I also agree that "agenda-pushing" is another problem that needs tackling, and that "even-handedness" is desirable (by and large). I'd also like to hear a broad range of views on as many subjects as possible, umpired by discreet, curious, fair-minded BBC presenters and programme makers. And I would prefer the BBC's news output to be radically overhauled rather than for the BBC to be broken up.

You'll have to pop over to Biased BBC to read it in full (as it's very well written), but I'll quote the closing paragraphs here:
I’m going to come out and say it. I like the BBC. For the most part it fulfils its remit. It shows many programmes I personally don’t like. My wife does, and my children do. The BBC have to be all things to all people, and away from the news output broadly do so.
No, I don’t think it is realistic for every British Army General, senior police officer or High Court Judge on Doctor Who to be by default black, but nor is it realistic for a one thousand year old alien to be chased around the galaxy by sentient pepperpots.
My point is this. Many of us on this site seem to see ourselves as representative of all of society. For good or ill, and the jury is still out, that simply isn’t the case. There are things on the BBC that simply aren’t meant for me and you. We would disagree amongst ourselves as to the good and bad. The thing that the BBC do for everyone, the news and current affairs, however, are in a parlous state. That is the battleground.
The BBC doesn’t need a wreath, it needs a Reith. Now, where you find one, perhaps standing next to the modern day Churchill over there, is a different matter.’
This, indeed, gives me an opportunity to admit that I too like the BBC. I especially like the bits that are meant for me, and don't doubt that the bits that aren't meant for me are probably very good too - for people who like that sort of thing.

It's a funny thing how difficult it can be to come out and admit that on a site that campaigns against BBC bias. I could almost hear a sharp intake of breath in Milverton's comment just before he made his confession about liking the BBC. 

I'll take a very sharp intake of breath here too, and admit that I'm actually getting quite fond of Newsnight under Ian Katz. Yes really.

That's not going to stop me from slating it for bias though.

I will now go and lie down.

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