Some BBC cuts make sense but no need to overdo it

The niggardly Times view of impending BBC cuts is largely self -serving although they’ll deny it. The idea that selling off Radio 1 and closing BBC3 could produce cuts in the licence fee is absurd. Almost all content on BBC3 and 4 is repeated on the main channels and is then commercially versioned for channels like Dave. Cutting services hardly adds value for money, particularly those which the mass of younger licence fee payers enjoy and pay for. The BBC is a victim of its own success, although some high profile mistakes like ridiculously excessive pay have been a gift to critics. A pruned BBC website could actually improve it. Adds Following a comment below I’ve slightly reworded this to make clear that the news sites aren’t among those being cut. But the core BBC News site itself is an overrated headline service largely redeemed by the specialist blogs. It doesn’t compare with many of the developing and still largely free newspaper sites. The plan to provide new highly visible links from the BBC site to other local news providers should boost hard pressed local reporting at a crucial time. Provided that is, the local press take inspiration from new BBC initiatives like Democracy Live and revive textual reporting of local affairs.

  • jtwo

    The cuts won’t be to the news website as Thompson has made clear in a couple of speeches – it’s offerings like this which will feel the chill wind http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/

    Like Tom Tom Loosemore, former of BBC now at 4IP, said this morning the tail of of BBC websites is 1000s long and you could half them without anyone noticing.

  • jtwo

    The linking out stuff is hardly new either:

    See the module on the right hand side of this story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8538130.stm

    Or look at this blog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/seealso/

  • slug

    I think the bbc does far too much – at the expense of diversity – so I would welcome cuts, and preferably larger cuts.

    If Brian was a BBC employee – is that correct – he should declare his interest.

  • jtwo

    Declare his interest? This is a blog not the High Court.

  • Brian Walker

    slug, I’ve often mentioned my BBC career but as a pensioner and occasional freelance I’ve no continuous interest to declare. Anyway, what’s the problem – my argument is transparent. If everyone who ever signed a BBC contract had to declare an interest with a comment, most of journalism and politics would be littered with them.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    The BBC is NOT a victim of its own success ..its a victim of its own imagination and self regard.
    Radio 1 has been no good since 1970. Bring back Diddy David Hamilton.
    And the only time people hear Radio 3 is when the car radio starts randomly selecting stuff we never would willingly choose.
    Local TV in Belfast might as well be Norwich and Alan Partridge.
    Stephen Nolan…Jackie Fullerton….Hugo Duncan…Gerry Anderson…….awful stuff.

    The sooner it becomes commercial the better.
    I declare an interest……I have a TV Licence.

  • dodrade

    I hope that even if the other magazines are sold off that the Radio Times will remain in BBC ownership. After all, the BBC started publishing it 4 years before they received their Royal Charter, it is as much a core service as the news.

  • Macanna

    fitz, leave gerry anderson alone. The rest are rubbish but lay off our gerry.(bloody cheek:)

  • As an expat, I find the BBC invaluable. If I had to depend on Rupert Murdoch for news, I’d go outside and feed myself to the wood chipper.

  • The BBC is indeed beyond price, but it has been overreaching itself, not to mention overpaying its less than interesting artists and staff. Time to pull up the draw bridge and put their house in order.

  • slug

    Brian-as you are a ‘BBC man’ your reputation and its are entwined.

  • Fabianus

    Speaking of the BBC, did anyone else notice that the story re Thomas Devlin’s parents figured in yesterday’s BBC Newsline 6.30 pm bulletin but has since disappeared?

    Did the PPS lie to the parents about having sent a letter and a few other matters besides?

    Will we ever know? I smell censorship.

  • Fabianus

    I have to confess it worries me sometimes that the BBC can, seem to be at least, be very selective in what it presents.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Macanna,
    Gerry Anderson has been no good since he stopped making Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet. 🙂

  • FitzjamesHorse

    pippakin,
    The BBC is very selective.
    All media is selective. They mediate between the “event” and the “people”.
    The event becomes a story.
    The only people who are unconvinced by criticism of the media….are people who work in the media.

  • Macanna

    Fitz, I think dying might have something to do with that one:(

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Actually Macanna he is still alive at 80.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    News story tonight about Capita might well affect the BBC. Capita handle their “Human Resources”.