Token of a Changing Tide?

These two reports- one from the BBC and one from the Telegraph– have different ways of describing a change in the TV rights’ ownership of the University Boat Race. Reminds me of one or two of my breakups in fact. One thing’s sure: the Boat Race was an audience drawing event that has been a fixture in the sporting calendar in this country for many years, and the BBC will … Continue reading

The Trenchant

Melanie Phillips is on her Today programme watch again over a really one-sided and skewed debate on Mr Blair’s notion/wheeze/policy (randomly generated options, delete to taste) on drugs testing in schools. Personally I’m relieved to find someone sceptically-minded who can listen attentively to large portions of the programme, but I suppose Melanie has what it takes. It’s as she says: a good example of the Beeb’s distorting lens, though the … Continue reading

It’s Not Important But…

What does it take to make the World Edition Webpage? Well, if your country (here, Japan) has controversially sent troops to Iraq, even a domestic military accident is newsworthy (raises profile, see?). Similarly, if you’re part of the artsy-fartsy British film industry (for which we must all give thanks and write letters to our MP supporting), expect to find your minor hard luck story represented. Click through to read and … Continue reading

Too Hungry For Words

. I sometimes see a BBC report and remember that the BBC World Service is funded by the UK Government’s Foreign Office. I’ve remarked on muted, even vaguely admiring reports about Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and been jogged to remember all the wrangles that have gone on in the Commonwealth, with South Africa arguing Mugabe’s corner. Today is Mugabe’s 80th Birthday, and he’s enjoying a party with thousands of guests in … Continue reading

Against all Dyke’s odds and sods

: having now seen the second episode, I too would like to praise BBC2’s series on Dunkirk (‘Against All Odds’, screened yesterday, today and tomorrow). When so many today, in the BBC and elsewhere, like to tell the fashionable PC lie, these programmes seem to have been made by someone who prefers to tell the truth. ‘Faction’ documentaries – dramatised history – are too often a particularly happy hunting ground … Continue reading

Bad Dairy Products and Fault Electrics

Bad Dairy Products and Faulty Electrics. Or Parmalat and Enron- not that there’s anything wrong with the actual substances they both deal/dealt in, especially Parmalat, whose dairy products are allegedly yum-yummy. No, the question I have is whether the Beeb really enjoys talking more about the Enron scandal than the Parmalat one. You see, 404 articles versus 48 might be said to tell a story. That story might be that … Continue reading

Here’s A Cracker

Here is a cracker from DumbJon (there, that’s something I’ve been wanting to say for a while) about the Sean Gabb/free speech affair I referred to three posts ago. Click through to read and contribute comments on this post.

A Plague on Stealth Editors

A Plague on Stealth Editors. Well, that’s what I could wish, given the number of times the BBC have squirmed out of an insupportable first version of a story. The trouble for the BBC is that more and more people are noticing. How can a so-called reliable News gatherer require so many reverse gears? This time it’s a story about the Kerry ‘whatsit’ by Paul Reynolds that’s caught the attention … Continue reading

A Tongue In Cheek Remark

A tongue-in-cheek remark, from Peter, directed at the Beeb in the next post-but-one below, had me chuckling. He said ‘I guess that we’re simply not up the rarified air (waves) of Britain where they’ve got no need for data because they know better. In fact, why even file a report or visit these farms. Just tell us what is good and bad in the world and we’ll follow. ‘ Well, … Continue reading

Back to Old Assumptions

Back To The Old Assumptions. This anti-US story seems a much more natural expression of the BBC’s judgement on world affairs. In the ‘good news Guantanamo Bay’ story below, the reader was expected to be surprised to hear that a young detainee was not bitter over his treatment. The assumption was that the reader would naturally believe that the US is treating inmates badly, with just the odd ray of … Continue reading

Happiest Days of Your Life

The Happiest Days of Your Life. Kudos to the BBC for reporting this tale of happy days at Guantanamo Bay. Perhaps they might consider rethinking the kneejerk headline slot that’s been given to groups of professional worriers like Human Rights Watch? Among other lovely ‘think again’ passages: ‘You might think he (detainee’s father) would be angry with the Americans. Actually he thinks they have done Naqibullah a favour. ‘ Click … Continue reading

Tuesday Update

Tuesday Update. Melanie Phillips expresses my feelings on the ‘categorically untrue’ affair.Sunday Update: Read Mark Steyn on The Lop-Sided Take. So there are two rounds of scandal-mongering taking place as Kerry and Bush begin to square up to each other. One is well known from the last election, the other is becoming well known. How this process is handled by the BBC is very important: each word in a report … Continue reading

Gentle Readers

, it is safest to have your say as a comment. Writing to me is always a gamble: will I lose your email, misattribute it or merely ignore it? Here, belatedly, are some that slipped through: From Stan Brin: I am an American journalist specializing in media criticism. Two questions: 1. Does anyone in Britain know how horrid the nightly North American BBC television broadcast is? Pure propaganda, paid for … Continue reading