The BBC

The BBC
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#1

The BBC is a unique old beast. It is the world’s best public service broadcaster. Many of its commissioned shows have gone on to become huge earners and a big source of soft power for the nation. I also think that the fact that it exists has stopped British television from becoming the wasteland of advertising that US TV morphed into. Commercial channels can’t take the piss too much when they’re competing with channels that have no advertising.

That said, it isn’t without its problems. The news part of the organisation is frequently pulled up for bias, and the political coverage is presently making a mockery of the age old maxim that the BBC is left wing. There has also been a massive drop in decent documentaries since the 1990s, a time when the Beeb seemed fearless in what it would go after.

Its future is far from secure; Murdoch hates it and has a great deal of pull with the present government, who have previously been sympathetic to News Corps aims. I hate the way it does certain things, but equally, I think its peerless in other respects and I’d hate to lose it. Couldn’t quite imagine life without it.

What’s your position on the BBC?


#2

I love the Beeb. It’s not perfect, but I find the attacks on it from the govt/Murdoch greatly disturbing.

Why on earth are these people so fucking hellbent on ripping up the best parts of this country?

Also think it’s a real shame they are getting rid of bbc3. Yes, I know there’s some crap on there. But it has produced some really good comedies over the year, and some of their documentaries are pretty interesting. Have to admit, I’ve gained a huge amount of respect for Reggie Yates with the programmes he’s done for 3 the last few years.

Their documentaries are also streets ahead of anything else produced in this country. So much stuff on so many different subjects. They really excel and getting people really engaging to talk about subjects that probably wouldn’t appeal to huge audiences.

One of the few things I miss about my longer commutes from the outskirts of town, is having time to watch these shows on the train. The range was brilliant. Film, History, Science, Medicine, Music, TV, Politics. There’s always something interesting to watch on iPlayer, even if the subject matter itself isn’t something you would usually be interested in.


#3

The attacks on the BBC from commercial interests seem even more baffling given the rather limited shelf life of the traditional broadcasting revenue stream. The days of a captive audience arranging their lives around a TV schedule are numbered. DVR, streaming services & Kodi all now compete with broadcast.

Murdoch probably hates the BBC because it is subscription-based only and is genuine competition for his viewers. His holy grail is to have a subscription based service WITH advertising. That’s going to be a poor proposition for anyone weened on the Beeb.


#4

I used to take the BBC as being an unbiased quality news outlet with a reputation for outstandingly high programming. especiallyin terms of documentary, drama and nature programmes.

In recent years only the nature programmes have maintained their astonishing ‘world class’ appeal to me at least. The entertainment side has a significant pandering to the lowest common denominator which undermines a lot of the better stuff they do still produce from time to time.

As for the news, I’m afraid i don’t consider them an independent source any more. They are just as likley to spin and sensationalise as any other ratings hungry media outlet. Re the recent Drs strike their cover has been woeful at times


#5

BBC Radio and their online content is superb and needs to be kept, imho. TV is generally very good and they seem to produce mainly good stuff. some of their content is pony, but as they lack the clout of the big subscription based providers i think they still do a good job. I don’t have a problem with their news coverage, but they do seem to be a bit too regional in their approach. Having to fill a 24 hour news channel and then provide content on other channels throughout the day is going to require some doing. As a large organisation they will have areas they can trim (how many numpty football “pundits” do they need, spread across TV, radio and online) and streamline a bit, however I suspect they will be in for a rough ride over the next decade.


#6

I’m underwhelmed by their news coverage, Breakfast TV, the sports covered, their self-promotion dressed up as news and the appalling Saturday night drivel.

But sadly they have to give the masses what they want which is Mrs Brown’s Boys, and the Great British Strictly-Pottery-Bake-off-Singalong.

So there is a whole raft of shit on show but some little gems if you scratch beneath the shiny surface.


#7

Are you sure you didn’t record my wedding speech?


#8

My relationship with the BBC has changed a lot over the years. I was the sort of geeky sod that’d happily listen to Radio 4 LW on my old Grundig radio. The stuff I managed to watch seemed gloriously anarchic at times. This is the corporation that along with Channel 4, popularised alternative comedy. BBC2 was so good at one point that I actually considered it inconceivable that anything funny could be born elsewhere, although Father Ted went a long way to robbing me of that notion. The Young Ones, Red Dwarf, Blackadder and Hitchhikers are just a few examples.

Most people go through points in their life in which everything changes, and things never seem quite the same again. Kids, deaths, that sort of thing. We all go through it. I used to argue that the most significant change in the BBC’s life was the David Kelly affair. Before that, the corporation seemed to be closer to the true guardian of democracy we’d all like it to be. It was certainly more balanced in its coverage of global affairs, and didn’t seem to have any taboos.

Problem is, the Savile revelations make it very difficult to look at a point in the Corporation’s recent history and see it as entirely altruistic. It clearly has no problem covering problems up, even having the gall to run things like child protection campaigns while other parts of the organisation were running cover for Savile (or at the very least, not looking into the “green room gossip” too closely).

The most charitable assessment I can give of the organisation is that like many big organisations, one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing, information is compartmentalised or doled out on a limited basis, but there are still good people trying to do the right thing. Even after David Kelly, we’ve seen examples of the BBC still taking on the establishment. The recent Newsnight attempt to out a high profile paedophile shows that there are people that still care.

The problem is, those people are easily railroaded. In the case of Newsnight, Messham’s astonishing mistaken identity retraction was all it took to turn an earth-shattering story into a potential source of litigation, allowing the named individual to escape any further scrutiny.

Realistically, while there have always been good people at the BBC, there has always been too much establishment control. I’d love to imagine some halycon age, but the reality is that the place has been riven with scandal, for one reason or another, from the day I was born.


#9

The worst thing this government has done is cut funding to the BBC.

Family Guy is now going to be on ITV2. Livid.


#10

Love the Beeb but some of the rubbish it puts out now is saddening. Mrs Browns Boys on BBC, WTF? But when it is good it is very, very good. Long may it continue.


#11

Agree with these sentiments. I am shocked to learn that they are putting on a ‘reality’ show about phone salespeople on BBC2! WTF is that all about?


#12

I love a lot of the BBC2 and BBC4 output but I’m finding the anti-Corbyn agenda within the political dept rather depressing.

I’m no lover of Corbyn but it’s like the Guardian luvies and their mates at the beeb are determined to press their “New Labour” bolloxs at all costs.


#13

Anyone with kids, or who has Sister called Helen who has Got Kids, knows that cbeebies is single-handedly raising the nation’s toddler community.


#14

Originally posted by @pap there has always been too much establishment control. I’d love to imagine some halycon age, but the reality is that the place has been riven with scandal, for one reason or another, from the day I was born.

Ideas of Reference

:wink:


#15

Originally posted by @Sussexsaint

Originally posted by @pap there has always been too much establishment control. I’d love to imagine some halycon age, but the reality is that the place has been riven with scandal, for one reason or another, from the day I was born.

Ideas of Reference

:wink:

I study history beyond 1975, y’know. All the way back to my conception in June 1974 :lou_sunglasses:


#16

Test Match Special. I rest my case.


#17

To add to all the above, they still put out some very decent dramas. The Fall, The Missing, Luther (not the most recent episodes though), Peaky Blinders, Doctor Foster, Wolf Hall, Dickensian. There are plenty of others and the average quality is consistently higher than other channels IMO


#18

Agree with most of the above. It produces a better quality overall (bar Mrs brown and some of the documentary stuff by Stacey Dooley). We were looking at the ITV app on our TV and it had Jeremy Kyle as main pic. I rest my case for the BBC. Channel 4 are a close second ( their news is pretty good) but their more and more voyeuristic look at benefit claimants, the goggle box shit and their overuse of Jimmy Carr on panel shows is getting tiring.


#19

Originally posted by @Flahute

I’m no lover of Corbyn but it’s like the Guardian luvies and their mates at the beeb are determined to press their “New Labour” bolloxs at all costs.

You can have any politicians you like, as long as they are neo-liberal.

While the Independent has arguably been fairer than the rest, even it has had its fair share of New Labour acolytes predicting infinite crisis at the edge of doom. Taking a look at the comments’ sections, not scientific I know, it’s almost like looking at a media version of the Labour Party. The membership, as manifested by the punters, seem broadly in favour of Corbyn (with notable exceptions). The paper seems to be pushing the New Labour line.

I have never had the expectation that the BBC is going to cover all the shit I’m interested in, but I have been surprised to see it become so “partisan” in such a short space of time. The incident with the staged shadow cabinet minister resignation last week was ridiculous, and indicative of a desire to make the news instead of report it.

For various reasons, I reckon the mask has slipped big time on Blairites, and by extension, the BBC and the Guardian. You’ve got the ridiculous spectacle of reasonably clever people on the other place expending all their energy on telling everyone what a disaster Corbyn, while the Tories are there to be attacked on pretty muich all fronts. Who knows what the fuck the Guardian is anymore. Having spent years dangling left wing opinion pieces in front of its left-leaning readers, it turns the cannons on the first leftie with a chance of doing anything.

I honestly couldn’t tell you about the BBC’s Corbyn coverage. I watch BBC Parliament and Question Time, but don’t watch their news. They’ve repeatedly failed in their brief of impartiality and I simply don’t trust them to interpret events on my behalf.


#20

Question Time is Jeremy Kyle for folks that have degrees. Stage managed as fuck. Utterly pointless.