Wise Words

October 25, 2007

(David)… “Attenborough shares the view of the BBC’s top management that the broadcaster must continue to provide a spectrum of programming to ensure something for everyone.

If some people switch off, no matter. “The notion that you shouldn’t pay for something if you don’t use it is uncivilized,” says Attenborough. It’s no different, he adds, than having some of his tax money spent on, say, a public swimming pool or library “even though I don’t use either.”

From an article in Time magazine.


4 Responses to “Wise Words”

  1. Reg Hammer Says:

    Selective journalism at it’s best!

    How Nick manages to put a positive spin on what is pretty much a damning article about the decline of the BBC, proves conclusively how selectively biased it’s employees really are.

    I think you’re doing more harm than good to your beloved paymasters by linking to that article Nick.

  2. nickreynoldsatwork Says:

    Since I found the Time article by looking at the BBC’s News Editors Blog, which featured a to link to it, I think it’s unlikely to cause much of a problem.

  3. Jack Hughes Says:


    The article is generally critical of the BBC – for example:

    “If you look at the history of the BBC, it is the history of a very slow retreat from the public-service remit, as if gradually the grass is growing over Lord Reith’s grave,” says Greenslade.

    I find Attenborough’s “library or swimming pool” analogy fascinating.

    Just imagine if you popped in at your local library and discovered that they bought 5 copies of the Guardian every day and no other newspaper, had no science section, very few travel books about France, Germany, Ireland – but hundreds about the USA mostly negative. They were dumping lots of non-fiction books, but had just bought a publishing company. And you later found out that one part-time librarian was actually paid more than the annual running costs of the whole library.

  4. nickreynoldsatwork Says:


    But if you popped in at your local library and discovered that not only did they stock all newspapers, and had talks and discussion groups with speakers from all those newspapers across the political spectrum, but also had:

    the best musicians playing regularly

    good magazines about cars, cookery, history, nature, science and politics

    a big display of books on Eastern Europe

    detailed information about your local area

    free courses to help your kids revise

    and a talk from a distinguished speaker where he praises the United States and examines the roots of anti-americanism (i.e. Justin Webb’s recent series for Radio 4)

    then you might not be worried about how much the part time librarian was paid.

    Especially if that librarian was a very funny man whose jokes and patter cheered up your day.

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