Thursday 25 April 2019

Coffee morning

I do like it when Twitter turns into a conversation among people from different political standpoints - though they all seem to agree about the BBC:

Martin Durkin: BBC on the path to extinction. Last year nearly a million people cancelled their TV licence. Happy Easter y'all.
Wendy Wheeler: All observably true. BBC needs to return to being a reliable and reasonable adult.
Ben Cobley: I agree, but not sure this is possible.
Wendy Wheeler: Why do you think not, Ben? Too many tribe members? Or something else?
Ben Cobley: It's that institutionalisation thing - the current BBC employment strategy is devoted to recruiting people according to their identity and representative status. Combined with its outsourcing practices, which work against risk-taking, I think we're only at the start of its decline.
Wendy Wheeler: Okay. It is a sort of tribal infection, then. Firm and broad minded leadership could stop it, but I think you are more than likely to be right. Too bubbled. Insufficient really innovative thinking. Won’t be able to see, let alone respond to, the entropy challenge.
Ben Cobley: I think anyone trying to refocus the BBC back on to quality would face a hell of a backlash from the identity industry. From the Tories, it would be made to appear as a far right takeover. Labour wouldn't even think of it (though might reverse outsourcing).
John Duffield: Indeed. The BBC has no creative independence or integrity anymore. Slowly morphing into a sociological propaganda unit.
Wendy Wheeler: This is what happened to swathes of humanities teaching in the universities. Eng Lit a particular casualty. Literary responses turned into sociological ones. Very narrow. V shallow.
John Duffield: With ever greater politicisation of the creative process the BBC has about as much creative integrity as the state owned media of a Warsaw Pact country. Worse of it is so bland and rubbish.
Wendy Wheeler: Despite the fact that LOADS has been written about it over the years, current tossers don’t know what the creative process is. Too drowning in witless conventional pc thinking (not thinking).
Ben Cobley: One sign of BBC decline is how much hype and promotion it now engages in - the breathless trailers advertising the latest TV dramas. The quality of its programming can no longer speak for itself as it used to.
Patrick Dillard: “Go forth, children, and each of you promote your own brand...until your last dying breath.”
Ben Cobley: The reduction of everyone to salesmen, including to the people we already work for - a core neo-liberal aim.
Patrick Dillard: “Please tune in to this regular programme, a series entertaining plugs for my other regular program, which is a series of entertaining plugs for this programme...”
David Eyles: There is also the point that the promises implied by the trailers are a source of disappointment when it comes to the actual drama.
Ben Cobley: Once you stop trusting them, they're in trouble.
David Eyles: Exactly. They are blaming their reduction in audiences upon new technology. And this may be a part of it. But another part is that people are getting fed up with them.

1 comment:

  1. Yes. Interesting discussion. I liked Wendy's phrase: "Very narrow. Very shallow." That really sums up the BBC for me these days. There's still the occasional good piece on (especially on BBC 4)...I saw Michael Woods' "Shakespeare's Mother" which was enjoyable and richly informative. Then I thought - it was made in 2015. A lot has changed in four years. Was probably commissioned at least 5 years ago...can't see it being made now on several counts.

    Generally though BBC output is racialised, trivial drivel.

    Much as it would be inspiring to hear there has been a mass desertion of the BBC, and not wishing to sound like a Remainer, but wouldn't most of those cancellations be in relation to people dying?


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