The BBC are pushing hard to make sure that criticism of the BBC and any projected change is seen as dangerous meddling by vested interests both political and commercial.
This BBC article gives us chapter and verse on those who voice support for the BBC…BBC facing ‘root-and-branch’ review…and though published after the revelations of media manipulation by the BBC there’s no mention of Danny Cohen organising that Luvvie letter.
The BBC reports, quite often, the hyperbole of Tory Lord Fowler (isn’t he a politically ‘vested interest’ then, all Tories being anti-BBC?) about the Panel set up to look at Charter renewal, and Lord Patten (another Tory…more of those politically ‘vested interests’?)…
The panel was criticised by conservative peer Lord Fowler, who warned in the House of Lords on Tuesday that the BBC was “under unprecedented attack”.
“I must warn those who support the BBC that we have something of a fight on our hands,” he said.
“The cards are marked and somewhat stacked against us. The advisory group advising the Secretary of State clanks with special interests and past opinions.”
Speaking at the same debate, Lord Patten, a former chairman of the BBC Trust, called the government’s advisory panel “a team of assistant gravediggers” who would help the culture secretary “bury the BBC that we love”.
No need to comment on Tory wet Patten but what of those people who are ‘Clanking with special interests and past opinions’ on the review panel? Fowler is not himself immune to such charges…and an additional one of hypocrisy with his own special interest and past opinions….he being a great fan of the BBC and its unbiased reporting….so why does he think his comments are untainted by possible bias whilst others are doing the satanic work of Rupert Murdoch?
One of the easiest ways of winning a cheer at this week’s Conservative party conference will be to attack the impartiality or extravagance of the BBC. The corporation has never been a conference favourite but over the last decade the Conservative view has not counted for very much.
One of the achievements of the BBC over the years is how it has resisted government interference and, above all, maintained impartiality in its reporting. [Fowler’s contention of no bias rests on the BBC’s attack on Labour over the Iraq War….but that is absolute evidence of its bias…against the war…a stance that has helped recruit Muslim radicals for Al Qaeda and now ISIS]
My advice then to the new ministers who are likely to take over is reject the Murdoch path of cutting back the BBC and concentrate instead on making it more effective.
Pretty clear where he stood in 2009….for the BBC.
Fowler back in 2012 said this…..admitting the BBC had massive political influence but you know what…it’s not really a problem… his real target is Murdoch…
The challenge remains to devise a system where nobody – Murdoch or anybody else – has a disproportionate share of the British media.
What about the BBC with its plethora of television channels and multitude of radio stations and programmes? Surely the corporation has a massive political influence, for why else would cabinet and shadow cabinet ministers queue up to be interviewed on Today or Andrew Marr’s Sunday programme?
As it happens my own view would be that BBC reporting is some of the best in the world, but that is not how everybody sees it. Any new rules on share of voice cannot be directed exclusively at News International. The BBC must come within the net as too must the other media giants like Google.
The BBC faces stiff competition on all its television channels. The same however is not true for national news radio. Today, World at One and PM have a far too clear run. That kind of radio programme cannot be supported by advertising, but of course the BBC has the licence fee. One solution here is to make a portion of the licence fee contestable so that a new provider like ITN or Channel 4 can be attracted in to compete.
Fowler demonstrates much confused thinking. He tells us that Murdoch is bad for the Media landscape because he owned ‘almost 40% of national press circulation and a big chunk of a successful television company’…however ‘Now all that is changing. We are into the post-Murdoch era.’ So Murdoch’s not a problem now? And yet he, and others, mention him relentlessly.
And yet Fowler has little problem with the BBC dominating the news with its ‘ massive political influence‘?
What of that Charter review panel?
Is it really a hit squad specially picked to be the BBC’s ‘grave diggers’?
You would have thought so from much of the rhetoric flooding out from the BBC’s defenders and the BBC itself. Here’s BBC comedian Stewart Lee with some wit and wisdom….
He tells us that ‘Due to its legendary nose for news, last week’s Sunday Times was first to reveal the “eight experts” chosen by culture secretary John Whittingdale to “help decide the BBC’s future”, the Murdoch empire barely able to wait to share its horror at the venerable institution’s latest humiliation.
And what a golden shower of talent Whittingdale has stitched together, a veritable human centipede of business-minded entities, in order to safeguard the nation’s cultural heritage.’
Naturally out of the woodwork crawls the man with no thoughts of his own, Jon Donnison, to applaud this public display of prejudiced stupidity and ignorance by Lee….(H/T Craig at Is the BBC Biased?)..
Jon Donnison retweeted Chris Hamilton
Chris Hamilton @chrishams In which Stewart Lee gives it both barrels re BBC debate – then re-loads & gives it a few more http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/19/stewart-lee-bbc-witch-hunters-reform-panel-culture-secretary …
The problem is that the mouth frothing and eye-ball rolling are somewhat wasted. If they had the slightest intent of providing an intelligent and informed comment instead of scaremongering bombastic exaggeration they would have told you what the Government actually says and what others, such as ‘Broadcast’ magazine, which is very pro-BBC, says about the panel.
Firstly is the Panel the sole source of information and reference for the government? No. The BBC itself, through Hall and his executives and via the BBC Trust, will be having a huge say in what goes on and the Trust will be gathering information and data to support whatever case it decides to proffer….
One of the creations of the last Charter was the BBC Trust – set up to represent the licence fee payer. The Trust will, in thisrole, also be consulting on proposals for the future of the BBC. We will take full account of the Trust’s work and work with them on a range of public and industry events to explore in detail the important issues in the coming months.
The Public and whoever else is interested and concerned are also invited to contribute their views and opinions…
Reviewing the BBC’s Royal Charter is not just a case of publishing a consultation. We want to engage with the public and with industry to make sure that all views are given proper consideration. This is why we are engaging with people across the UK in a number of ways to make it easy for everyone to respond.
Not only that but other experts will be engaged to provide comment and relevant expertise…
There are also some areas where studies, reviews and research are needed – to add technical expertise or independence from Government. We will be commissioning these in the coming months.
Not only that but as well as the eight people on the review Panel other people or groups will be asked to join the panel as when the situation requires it.
Hardly the cosy little stitch up by a government in hock to the Murdoch empire as excitedly claimed by Fowler, Patten and Lee & Co as they paint a doomsday scenario for the BBC.
The only stitch up seems to be that organised by the BBC itself knowing full well that the review process is a long and involved one using the knowledge and ideas of a wide range of people, the BBC itself not being the least contributor to that process, and yet they set out with a deliberate policy to whip up the rhetoric and exaggerate, if not invent, the ‘danger to the BBC’ in order to attempt to cause a storm of protest and antipathy towards the government position…trying to intimidate the government which know that the Public ‘loves the telly more than the Tories’!
Here is what Broadcast Magazine said of the panel…most are pro-BBC despite having some critical thoughts about it…they are broadly supportive by default, even Alex Mahon who worked for Murdoch. Some of them have worked for the BBC, one has the ex-head of the BBC iPlayer as his company strategist, one is the head of the Arts Council who has provided reports on Music education for both Labour and Coalition governments, and bound to be a good mate or acquaintance of Tony Hall (from the Royal Opera House), another is head of ‘Diversity UK’ who tweets approvingly of BBC programmes and has an MBE for services to the creative industries. Another was head of Ofcom and is now president of the Voice of the Listeners and Viewer.
This is what the chairman of the VLV said….’
“We welcome the opportunity the Green Paper will provide for the public to be involved in the debate about the future of the BBC. The recent licence fee settlement did not allow for any public debate and was an unacceptable raid on the BBC’s income to fund government social policy, namely free licence fees for the over 75s.
“The preamble to this debate has not been edifying, with leaks and political point scoring. The BBC is too important an institution to be a political football. Now citizens must have their voice.
Hardly sounds like a bunch intent on wrecking the BBC or its connections to the creative industries and educational services….it would seem a lot of their ‘vested interests’ are actually aligned with the BBC’s.
Lee moans that he isn’t on the panel despite his own, self-admitted, brilliance…
Like it or not, and I am not sure that I do, I am objectively the most critically acclaimed British TV comedian this century, and every one of my BBC series of the last decade has been either nominated for, or won, multiple Bafta, British Comedy and Chortle awards. Any panel on the future of the BBC that includes a phone app bloke over me is clearly not worth the beer mat it was hastily drawn up on.
Trouble is that ‘phone app bloke’ has created a billion pound company and it is his knowledge of how to exploit the internet, what the public like to listen to and in what formats, and how to combine the two, that the government wants to utilise in order to contemplate and predict what a future BBC might look like as it adapts to the new digital media landscape around it. Don’t know if Lee has that knowledge but the phone number, email and snail mail address is on the government website...feel free to give them your considered opinion instead of taking the easy route, whilst taking a big cheque for your troubles, of using the BBC’s outhouse journal, the Guardian, to air your grandstanding uninformed whinges.
Jon Donnison retweeted
That cantankerous old sod Stewart Lee’s article about the BBC is so good I’m posting it for the second time today http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/19/stewart-lee-bbc-witch-hunters-reform-panel-culture-secretary …
The comedians have had their say, now let’s get on with the job and let the people with intelligent, informed views have their say.