N.B. My personal views.
It’s been a perplexing few weeks with many peculiar attacks on the BBC.
Then there was Catherine Bennett’s intemperate attack on the BBC’s children’s output. I’m baffled by this one. To leap from GoForIt closing to a condemnation of CBBC seems absurd. CBBC is one of the best things the BBC does and as a parent I’m glad for it (and my kids do watch “Who wants to be a suprehero”). This seems to be more about some strange middle class hang-up that I don’t understand than anything to do with the BBC.
Michael LeJune’s attack on the BBC for being “too big” is a familar theme and not well informed about what the BBC actually does or what the Licence Fee actually means. The best response to it is in this comment.
I love it whenpeople say
“i *hate* the beeb, but i love R4/ Newsnight/ etc”
i don’t read the grauniad travel section on Saturday – should i complain and ask for 20p back off my newsagent?
same with the BBC – some things i like, some i dislike – but i pay for the whole.
because i know that by allowing people to only pay for what they want, we’d end up with a channel full of lowest common denominator sh*te like sky.
i completely disagree with this guy’s assertions –
if the BBC is funded by a licence fee, that means they have an obligation to provide to the *many* – to make content for all.
this means that if someone pays the fee and they only like cr*ppy soaps and stuff with wendy craig in and antiques roadshow and last of the f’n summer wine, the BBC should supply it.
this content, in turn, should be there to challenge it’s competitors to produce higher quality content.
if the BBC makes Dr Who which does well on Saturday Evenings, that should be a good thing.
if they make eastenders, and it is popular, that is a good thing.
it is then up to the commercial channels to compete and raise their game – not send their drones onto the Graun’s website pretending to have the BBC’s best interests at heart.
finally – i like the idea that my (3 yr old) son can watch a channel that doesn’t have ads for toys and sweets and other rubbish between the programmes.
During a recession people are going to ask tough questions about the BBC. I feel priviledged to work there, as I should do, because I am.
But the best way to change the BBC is by rational, well informed argument. For example by a well considered and researched report which offers some evidence for its’ conclusions. Such as the Select Committee’s report on BBC Worldwide. I was particularly interested in this as some of the points raised by it were discussed on this blog in May of last year. It’s worth reading, and thinking about.