Newest Review: ... to not question their viewers any more and so end up treating them like idiots. The Newsnight debacle, of course, will be a stick for... more
Member Name: thedevilinme
Advantages: Honest news show
Disadvantages: Under pressure to compete with the chaotic internet
So let's get this straight! Newsnight is now being criticized for taking seriously member (s) of the public who accused important people and celebrities of a child abuse ring and yet the same show previously berated for NOT reporting a story were a person (s) were allegedly being abused by important people and celebrities? That ambiguity really irritates me when people attack the BBC and its integrity, especially those who rant purely because of the license fee. It cost you 50p a day guys?? Basic Sky is far more and if you want subjective news then that's the place to go. Journalists join and stay with the BBC because of its honest mandate and not so much for the money, commercial station paying much more, Sky and ITV building news around selling stuff in the ad breaks.
The problem for the BBC is nota new one. Their job is to provide the news and programming the commercial stations lose money on and it tend s to be dull. But they also have to justify their massive budget and so that contradicts their mandate. BBC news are fatally trying to do both and compete with the sensationalism of the internet, the news we secretly want and why it's popular, but the people berating the BBC doing just that to make themselves feel more morally superior. They click on the internet news site to. We hold the BBC in high esteem and they will perish if they don't keep our trust.
Since the Hutton Report the BBC have lost their confidence and fear if they do try to take on the establishment and report the often terrible truth they will be further downsized by the incumbent government. Any weakness like that means the lawyers take over and the great and the powerful are further protected and non accountable and the BBC lose their edge. Andrew Gilligan reported the truth about New Labor 'sexing up' the case for war, proved by the fact there were no WMD, yet he and the BBC, not Blair and his government, had to fall on their sword over the disgrace Iraq was for this country. Once you don't report what you know as truth and scared of censure its game over for news gatherers and this Newsnight thing could be the end of the BBC and the license fee as we know it. In fact the internet makes the BBC redundant now. I think Newsnight have mentioned the words 'oil' and 'Iraq' together once in a news report in ten years since the war. But they do seem to have lot more time for more frivolous stuff. When did we get to the point where the countries most prestigious broadcaster should be putting idiot content out like the One Show??? The BBC has been dumbed down by that fear to not question their viewers any more and so end up treating them like idiots.
The Newsnight debacle, of course, will be a stick for the Tories to beat the BBC with and coupled with the Levisson Enquiry and I fear the news media will have their wings clipped next year so they can no longer fly. There's nothing the politicians and big business want more than to gag the media from reporting their lies and greed, the nature of being a politician. I have done some bits for BBC local radio on cricket and sport and the guys and girls who work the regional stations maybe a bit 'local' but they want to work for the BBC because they want to be taking seriously as journalists. That is the point. You go there to be objective, not subjective.
I do some cricket and sports writing as one of my jobs and you have to learn to judge people there and then in front of you to work out if they are telling the truth. Often they are not and do what they need to protect their jobs and the sporting brand they are working for. Proper journalists have to make that call everyday and if they get it wrong their paper can be sued for libel. The big disadvantage is the person you are interviewing is allowed to lie and in some extreme cases lie to get the chance to sue you and hope you back down or they get paid compensation. The lesson you learn most is the public don't want journalist to have and opinion if it's not their opinion.
If you look at the Newsnight Savile story the BBC clearly knew he was on the way out in 2010 and so the BBC department who does obituary and tribute programming was getting their programs together whilst the news department itching to finally tackle the endless rumors about Savile. Problem is he died in the autumn and the BBC had already spent a lot of money on four tribute programs and was never going to can them and Christmas the time to show them. It's traditional not to attack people in obituary programs. Newsnight, sensing a big story, crashed on and prepared for launch. The Newsnight people must have known that they would lose out to the prepared and expensive Savile tributes but still pushed on. As it happens (excuse the pun) the tributes won and went ahead, painting Savile as a saint not a sinner, all this after Newsnight (and pretty much everyone in the business) were well aware he was anything of the sort and let down the brave victims who had come forward to report his abuse, who had to sit through the BBC Savile tributes. But here's the problem - how truthful were those accusers? Sadly, more timewaster, fantasists and chancers come forward than whistleblowers in life. They sniff compensation and minor publicity and before you know it you have 100s of people claiming abuse, as with the Savile case. When this all pans out I bet most accusers were time wasters. I'm not questioning the integrity of the people who originally came forward to accuse Savile of abuse but just pointing out that the Newsnight journo's have to make a call on how truthful they are. In this case they believed the accusers.
The prime witness in the North Wales children homes story is Steve Meesham, who I knew was questionable the moment I started watching his interview on Newsnight. I suspect the journalists knew but couldn't risk not reporting the story after they didn't, Savile. He was shifty and his eyes were darting everywhere so to not hold eye contact with the interviewer, a classic sign of guilt. But in this case it went ahead and a Tory politicians name was mentioned in an around about way. The ex politician threatened to sue and Meesham backed down. But what amazes me here is a simple background check on this guy (that you guy cans do now on Google) would quickly reveal he could not be trusted as a witness. He is the classic chancer I am talking about.
In 1994 he was sued for making libelous claims over a chief police officer just after the North Wales children home enquiry. Later he was accused of benefit fraud by not claiming his £45,000 compensation payout from that enquiry on his welfare claim. He then attacked his lawyer with a volley of punches in court after hurdling the witness box. He sued Private Eye when they sussed out he may be lying and settled for £4500 out of court, only because Private Eye would have to pay more in legal fees proving it. And finally he was charged with stealing money from a charity he set up called NOWAS for survivors of the North Wales children's home abuse although found not guilty ona technicality. Ok, maybe his time in care made him the bad egg he is now but troubled people like this on benefits have nothing to lose by making allegations in pursuit of tabloid and litigious payouts and so the reporters have to be right when they put them on TV, in this case costing a lot of good people's jobs at the BBC, including the Director General.
My number one news program will always be Channel Four News because its mandate is alternative and so appeals to its centre left wing audience. It runs great stories the other channels dare not touch and John Snow a brilliant anchorman. They do mention oil and Iraq. They do tell you the real reason Abul Qatada won't be allowed to face trial here. That twinkle in Snow's eye has lessened of late though as he is slowly being edged out by the younger and prettier ones, Cathy Newman clothes getting tighter every week as she eyes the top job. It's the same fete for Paxman on Newsnight as the stunning Emily Mattis drapes her pins over the side of the desk to bring in more male viewers. At the moment Newsnight pulls in around one million viewers as they objectively analyze the stories of the day with subjective guests and experts and, ironically, the recent Newsnight stories their best viewing figures for a while.
The show begins religiously at 10:30pm weeknight so it can respond to the day's news and fill in the gaps. The various presenters have their own styles and the irritable Paxman the most entertaining. Poor old Eddie Mayer from Radio 4 was dragged in recently as the presenters didn't fancy it on the night of the long knives but Emily is back and so the all important male viewers. I do like Paxman but sometimes he mauls decent guests and so they never get the chance to answer his questions. Of late some of those guests have been lightweight as Tory politicians increasingly refuse to be accountable by not appearing on the show. Newsnight is not immune from the television fundamental that attractive people should appear were possible, be it guests with little knowledge on the subject or the overly sexy presenters. Mattis is very good presenter though and puts Gavin Estler to shame when he hosts.
Summary: The BBC is dieing