Monday, 15 October 2007


Over the recent weeks the BBC has once again come under severe criticism for basically neglecting to tell the truth. Blue Peter phone in plots, Celebrity Come Dancing two night two steps and the debacle that was the Queen's walk out have all tarnished the corporation’s position as the world's most respected broadcaster.

Today’s Telegraph then, only adds to the murky water that Aunty currently finds herself swimming in. Mark Thompson, current Director General, is considering axing 2800 jobs or 12% of the workforce. However, despite being asked to keep their mouths shut, certain senior BBC commentators have broken ranks to oppose the cuts in a very public way.

“Humphrys defies BBC boss on speaking out” relates to veteran broadcaster John Humphrys defiance of his employer’s directive not to comment on the future of the corporation. Attacking any cut backs in news production, he joins the ranks of Paxman, Simpson and Dimbleby when he informed the Cheltenham Literature Festival that;

“If democracy is not well informed, then it cannot survive. BBC news is the most important thing the BBC does”.

Well said Mr Humphreys, but it looks as if you will have a battle on your hands. Sir Michael Lyons, the BBC Trust Chairman, told Andrew Marr yesterday that he wanted a BBC that “got the most from every pound of tax payer’s money” and that “the only way the budget will be balanced is by doing less”. Perhaps the budget would balance a lot quicker if he stopped paying millions of pounds to the likes of Jonathon Ross, Graham Norton and other such presenters who have done more to “dumb” down the BBC than Blue Peter pet name pranks could ever do.

Efficiency and change are not words that should be feared, but certain things must remain at arms length from their influence. The integrity of the BBC at both national and international levels is one such example. With cuts in news output, current affairs research and original programming, Lyons and Thompson are plunging the corporation into the bowels of trash TV and second rate cable channels.

Which scenario serves democracy better, Bruce Forsyth presenting the news whilst doing the fox trot with a B list celebrity, or Paxman grilling a less than truthful politician in order that the public can be fully informed? I certainly know where I want my license fee spent.

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