Home > Environment, Journalism > The BBC: A once great institution now in search of a plot

The BBC: A once great institution now in search of a plot

Don’t get me wrong, I am a great fan of the BBC and the part it plays at the heart of British life and journalism; I only have to watch five minutes of an American network news bulletin to see what it has done to maintain standards of journalistic integrity in the UK.

Over the last few years though it has had its wings clipped by various governments, been bullied and coerced and now it is slowly but surely being driven into the ground by mendacious polticians and useless senior managers.

The latest piece of spectacular stupidity from the “men in grey suits” who run the Corporation is to cut 15% from the budget of the best news programme on TV, Newsnight, and sack the programme’s environment and science reporters.

In the meantime the spineless idiots who run BBC News have decided to create a new job for an overall Arts Editor whose job will be to oversee and enhance the BBC’s coverage of…. well, they say “the Arts”, but we all know that that is a euphemism for “popular culture” where the coverage tends to veer towards world-shuddering journalism asking things like “which soap star is in rehab this week”, “which vacuous teenage pop star is pregnant again” and “which member of the Big Brother house put what up their nose today”.

One of the biggest stories of this century will be the climate and the way it is changing; explaining that to the lay audience is a massive challenge and one that has to be done by specialist journalists who can translate the scientific jargon into easy and accessible reporting.

The BBC used to be brilliant at this, with experts like Patrick Moore, James Burke and programmes like Tomorrow’s World, which was sadly axed many years ago.

We’ve already had the cringe-inducing spectacle of  the coverage of the death of Jade Goody, but this is only the beginning, a mere taster of the hype-obsessed headlines that will pass for news in the future.

Welcome then to BBC News for the next decade – a vanilla mix of pointless stories about soap stars, pop princesses and reality TV wannabes – all there to numb the senses of the audience while the world around us goes to hell in a handcart, torn apart by the small-minded dictators who prefer to wield power than use it to improve lives, and who love it when journalists are more interested in bimbos and gossip rather than hard questions about the economy or the environment.   

And where have I seen this already? Oh yes, American TV News. It seems that the BBC’s management has not only lost the plot, it doesn’t even know where to look for one.

  1. May 12, 2009 at 17:51

    I agree and want to promote ways to improve scientific journalism (and education).


    I’m wondering what you think of this course (link above) from the World Federation of Science Journalists. It’s about scientific journalism and is available in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese). I think the course offers content that could be useful for a wide range of purposes, including self-teaching questions that would be great discussion starters for pretty much anyone past middle school level.

    • Max
      May 14, 2009 at 07:54

      I’ve had a quick look and from what I’ve seen this looks to be a fantastic resource – hats off to all those involved. I do some training for journalists and will certainly be pointing people towards this in the future. In turn I hope that it will continue to grow and develop – as science and technology have a greater and greater influence on our lives, the need for better communication and understanding for the lay audience is only going to increase.

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