Sunday 26 July 2015

Our latest introspective post

Blogs (web logs) were always meant to be essentially personal. 

They can, of course, do anything....except, perhaps, exceed the speed of light, bring about cold fusion in the laboratory or work out how on earth Marcus Brigstocke has managed to build such a successful a career at the BBC...

...but, yes, they were always meant to be personal.

In that spirit, Is the BBC biased? is just me and Sue being personal. There may be a campaigning edge from time to time (and so there should be), but it was meant originally to be a way for me and Sue to say what we think about the BBC (and other matters) without feeling as if we need to always sing from a collective hymn-sheet. We could even (whisper it!) be nice about the BBC from time to time. 

That feeling of fellowship with roughly like-minded souls is hard to escape from though. "We're all in this together" is a powerful slogan. And so is, "We must all stand together". 

As a result, like the infernally catchy Frog Chorus, we risk finding ourselves becoming ever more radicalised (seemingly inevitable in our neck of the pond) and croaking "We hate the BBC" at the top of our voices. (And by "we" I mean "me").

I've started to worry myself about this tendency because, unlike many others hereabouts in this section of the blogosphere, I've never really wanted to see the BBC dismantled or the licence fee taken away. Despite what those outside hereabouts might think, especially given my six or so years of constantly slagging off the BBC, I don't  actually hate the BBC. I hate BBC bias not the BBC (rather like the priest who hates the sin but not the sinner - except that I very much enjoy some of the BBC's sins as well).

I have tried, ever since setting up this blog with Sue, to reflect my conflicting feelings about the BBC, but I've slipped somewhat recently into being mainly negative. So here's what I actually think:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that the BBC does a lot of wonderful, world-beating things and being proud of the BBC (as the voice of British broadcasting) as a result. 

Those who say that the BBC produces nothing worth watching/listening to (and many people hereabouts do say that) don't speak for me.

Looking at this week's BBC One/BBC Two TV schedule (Saturday to Friday), I see lots of things my friends like that I am indifferent to (like Mrs Brown's Boys and Eastenders), but I also wouldn't mind watching quite a few things too, such as...

...on Saturday night, Ocean Queens: The History of Cunard, Proms Extra and Dancing Through the Blitz (not one of which I've watched because I've spent much of the weekend blogging, but all of which I'd like to watch).

...on Sunday night, Countryfile (I like Countryfile), Fake or Fortune (I like Fake or Fortune too, despite/because of its highly dramatic use of the tricks of the trade) and a Dan Snow documentary about the history of locomotion. And I know my Agatha Christie-obsessed family will be tuning in for Partners in Crime (again not one of which I've watched/will watch tonight because I've been too busy blogging).

...on Monday night, something about the bookies at Doncaster (though I'll skip Panorama) and what sounds like a wonderful run of programmes on BBC Two: Carol Klein's Plant Odysseys (I like plants), The Pennine Way (I look our on the Pennines from work every day. I love the Pennines), University Challenge (I've always like this one), Only Connect (ah, Victoria Cohen! Don't tell yours and I won't tell mine. Not really [he says, piously]), and (though I know I won't watch it) something about the Bloomsbury Set.

...on Tuesday night, more from the Pennines.

...on Wednesday night, more Pennines, plus Trust Me, I'm a Doctor, which will look at whether organic food is really healthier, and a new series looking behind the scenes at the Royal Mail (have they stopped routinely stealing stuff since privatisation?)

...on Thursday night, more Pennines, plus Coast (I like Coast), a new series, which previews suggest will be "spectacular", on the Atlantic Ocean, and Jane Corbyn's Panorama special on the Tunisian terrorist atrocity (which, given Jane's past, somewhat inconsistent  record, could be rewarding).

,,,and on Friday night, well, Would I Lie to You? is reliably entertaining, even if nothing else appeals to me that night.

And that's before I start on BBC Four, Radio 4 and Radio 3 - all of which I watch/listen to much more than BBC One and BBC Two, and which I really could praise to the skies for page after page of this blog.

However, like a diligent idiot, I choose to deny myself all of that because I think the BBC has a serious problem as regards bias and that that bias both has been and remains deeply harmful to the fabric of this country, and, as a result, I feel the need to keep on blogging about it. 

I just want that bias to stop. Somehow. 

Quite how I don't know...

...but, looking back again, I think that me and Sue have done more than our fair share of work in demonstrating that the BBC is biased on many fronts. And we will continue to do so for an undefined 'while' yet.

So there!

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