Monday 1 March 2021

What the BBC chooses to cover, and how...


Here's a Twitter chat that might interested you. 

I saw the BBC article they're discussing being plugged myself early this morning and thought 'What's the point of that?' 

It appears I wasn't alone.

Matt Kilcoyne, Adam Smith Institute: I do find what the BBC choose to cover, and how, one of the hardest things in media to crack. This is a prime wtf example. It is just an advert for a single office firm. It doesn't explore the actual issue or economics or politics, just quotes from their guy.

I can just about get a paper doing that if it's a firm that takes out huge adverts, but the BBC doesn't need to do that... why not do it justice with a look at arguments on mandating returns, employee bargaining, logic of collective action, costs, company policy vs legal reality? 

Helping tens of millions of Brits facing uncertainty over what is and isn't allowed or is and isn't decided yet (both those managing and managed, with liability or not, directorship responsibility or contractual terms) could even be described as a public service broadcast.

Steve Mynott: It's probably just a press release they paraphrased. I'd expect it to appear in other media.

Emma: The question is why such a gigantic news organisation is having to write up press releases to bulk out the website. Surely if there's not enough national news there's some story from BBC Cornwall you can promote instead.

Steve Mynott: BBC journalists work quite hard but if free content arrives in their email they will copy and paste with some image library clipart since it's easier and they are only human. 

Matt Kilcoyne: Yeah except they really get annoyed at that accusation, and they have the staff that other organisations don't to do digging and original stuff. And this kind of piece, organised with the Today Programme, is a multi-day operation. What do they have to show for it?

I do have another explanation, at least as far as the BBC News website piece goes (rather than the Today piece): It's a clickbait article - and a successful one too. It's already received 1,834 comments, and counting.

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