Friday 24 July 2015

More feedback for 'Feedback'

This time last week I was critical of Roger Bolton's Feedback for introducing Jake Kanter of Broadcast magazine as if he were a disinterested expert on the government's green paper on the future of the BBC...
Jake Kanter is news editor of Broadcast magazine, and he's been observing the twists and turns of this story...
...when, actually, both Jake and Broadcast magazine have been vigorously spearheading the 'Backing the BBC' campaign (against the government) since May.

I complained directly to Feedback. The reply arrived today:
Thank you for your email and for taking the time to raise this issue with us. We took the decision to interview Jake Kanter from Broadcast magazine in order to aid listeners in understanding some aspects of the government green paper and the timeline of the charter review process because of his expertise in covering BBC stories for Broadcast, which represents the entire broadcast industry. We did not ask Jake Kanter for his personal opinion about the BBC or the government and therefore our choice to introduce Mr Kanter simply with his job title at Broadcast was adequate for the role he performed within this edition of Feedback. This programme is complied by Radio 4's Head of Compliance both for its script and the final edited programme. 
I trust this satisfies your concerns but if you are unhappy with my response please visit the BBC complaints website to make a complaint:​ 
Best wishes, 
Katherine Godfrey.
Senior Producer, Feedback.
I note, however, that today's Feedback featured another 'expert voice' who's another vigorous fighter for the BBC's corner. This time though (perhaps as a direct result of my email last week?), Roger Bolton introduced him fully - and properly:
To help navigate us through the public consultation process and what it all means I'm joined by Colin Brown, who in the 1990s was Director of Corporate Affairs at the BBC and is now chair of The Voice of the Listener and Viewer, which has been highly critical of the government's role in that licence fee deal.
That's progress...

...though full progress will only come when we get a counterbalancing series of interviews with experts who are more critical of the BBC and more sympathetic to the idea of radical changes to the BBC...

...and when Roger Bolton stops sighing and weighing his words in one direction, and when Roger stops questioning from the same doom-mongering stance as his pro-BBC listeners and his pro-BBC guests (and, worse, doing so from an even more doom-mongering starting point), which he did yet again this week.

Feedback is becoming seriously unbalanced because of all of this. 

[Now, the 4-1 ratio of pro-BBC comments to anti-BBC comments might also be taken as extra proof of that imbalance, but I suspect it might actually be fairly representative of loyal Radio 4 listeners - the majority of whom doubtless do think that "Radio 4 alone is worth the whole licence fee".]


  1. Complaints from both sides again. Worth a chapter on its own.

  2. At least you got a proper reply, even though you (and mi) don't agree with it. Usually it starts with we like to answer these questions within 10 working days but on this occasion .....

  3. I thought this show was to give feedback to listeners' concerns but it has turned into that Monty Python sketch.. "Dear BBC, I love your programmes so much that I would like to donate my house and all its contents to the BBC...


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