Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘dead wood

Who Rattled Andrew Marr’s Cage? I Think He’s Worried.

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It's Called Competition

 

Andrew Marr’s rant against bloggers rather surprised me.  His Sunday morning show is a fixture for me.  I think his intemperate and short tempered polemic betrays an old-fashioned journalist’s insecurity and fear of the new media

Someone in his privileged position has only to sneeze and he will be published in front of millions.  I admire his work but there are thousands, equally capable and with equally valid opinions who are now able to express themselves widely on the internet.  The real question is when will the “dead mens shoes”, “who you know not what you know” culture be overturned?   Let’s not be shy here, I know my writing is generally better than most that’s published in the national press, yet I only enjoy that audience occasionally.  Those, like Andrew Marr, who already have their foot in the door, shut it firmly in the face of their challengers and competitiors.  It’s a closed shop, much worse than any trade union restrictive practice.

I do agree with him completely about anonymity. It is a matter of pride to me that, wherever I can, I use my own name when writing, commenting, abusing, complimenting, agreeing or yes, occasionally, even ranting.  I also agree, in this one instance only, with that obnoxious little billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, when he said “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”.  I think he’s absolutely right on this and I hope more people will follow his and my example.

Overall though Mr Marr, I think your rant about bloggers says more about you than anything else – and you’re right to be worried.  I hope you stick around but there’s plenty of dead wood in journalism and broadcasting that needs chopping out.  Editors are the lazy ones, the real culprits.  It’s easy for them just to sign off the same old names time after time.  They have become far too powerful and need taking down a peg or two.  They should be scouting round the blogosphere for new talent instead of sitting on their backsides getting fat and lazy.

A BBC Preservation Order

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TAKE NOTICE

This noble institution should be preserved.

It is not perfect but it is better than any alternative.

It contributes enormously to the culture of the nation.

It is our BBC

This notice should be nailed to the door of Broadcasting House and all BBC premises.  Damaging or cutting off parts or branches of the institution is not allowed.  Adequate space must be given to the institution’s roots which must not be interfered with.  Severe penalties will be applied to anyone who knowingly or recklessly damages the institution in any way.

Then David Cameron, Nick Clegg and a heavyweight team need to take Mark Thompson aside and give him a good talking to.   We want to preserve the BBC and its unique qualities but we need a hard pruning of dead wood and unproductive growth.  Preserving the roots and fundamental strength are the most important objectives.   Cutbacks in the right places will stimulate stronger new growth elsewhere.

I agree that Sky should contribute towards those commercial channels that it broadcasts free-to-air.  It ties viewers into its subscription packages because they are comprehensive.  This is gives it an unfair advantage throughout the market, as does its coverage and bandwidth.

Sky is a parasite on traditional TV companies.  Its unfair advantages have enabled it to develop the best user interface and experience in the market.  Even so, it is expensive and has a reputation for appalling customer service.  Its relationship with Newscorp means it is part of a monstrous media empire which requires much more regulation in the interests of consumers and the community at large.  It should be required to invest more in original programming and production.  If necessary, a new media tax should be introduced to enforce appropriate investment and safeguards.

The BBC’s biggest mistake is the level of executive pay.  There is no justification at all for anyone in the BBC to earn more than the Prime Minister.  It is public money.  Anyone unhappy with this should resign today.  No one is indispensable.  The BBC has always been the best in its business at bringing on new talent.

The Licence Fee should remain unchanged.   It is fantastic value for money and shows just how expensive Sky is.   The BBC Trust should be strengthened in its primary role as regulator and it should enforce cost savings, efficiencies and executive pay.  It should also ensure that the BBC becomes more responsive and closer to its audience.  Its complaints and feedback system is fundamental to this.  It needs to be brought back in house and given real priority.  See here.

Britain adores its BBC.  Let’s ensure we preserve it and allow it to flourish.