Saturday, July 22, 2017

BBC News July 2017

In previous years the BBC Radio 4  News  at 10 pm was headlined by recently occurring important issues of the world, followed by other  news-worthy reports and then by interesting though often difficult analysis and comment. Radio news has tended to be more serious than news on TV.

Sadly this style of  BBC Radio 4 news reporting, is being relegated in favour of items that are hardly reasonably described as newsworthy, and more and more of what is really little more than gossip is featuring as "news".

The BBC Radio 4 headline yesterday concerned the resignation of some American adviser to President Trump and this was followed through today with more on the same virtually irrelevant to UK listeners, topic. 

Why the BBC feels that   American domestic political staff are  so newsworthy is a complete mystery - at least to yours truly. 

The Russians are deploying more and more warships in and through the Black Sea including those that shadow a British warship in the region; Poland is passing laws which diminish the independence of their judiciary and which are causing the EU to become restless; the refugee crisis especially those fleeing or in some cases traveling over the Mediterranean Sea,  from North Africa, is impinging very heavily upon Italy yet other neighbouring continental nations are really failing fully  to assist their Italian friends; in Rome, significant differences are emerging between Pope Paul and some of his colleagues, over issues such as permitting divorced Catholics to receive Holy Communion and the Chinese government's control of family sizes in that vast country, is apparently being relaxed to some degree.

Some of the important issues exemplified above, may appeal only to a minority of listeners and the BBC may fairly argue that such listeners are catered for on their more specialist programmes such as its religious affairs programme broadcast very early on Sunday mornings but all of them surely, are more significant (and as it happens) interesting than the resignation of a PR type person  working in the USA even if for that country's President?

Much of the criticism of the BBC especially from political parties, relates to perceptions that its news and comment programmes are not as politically neutral as they are expected to be although this criticism has just been added to by another namely the disclosure of some only, of the huge sums paid to higher profile men and women who work for the BBC. The latter issue has now caused a sub-text about the apparent over payment of the BBC men concerned compared with their women colleagues, which issue was resolved some time ago elsewhere eg Wimbledon Tennis.

Surely for the BBC to retain its state supported position in the UK, its news programmes should  seek to prioritise the important over the trivial and maybe even to educate rather than pander, to the population at large?

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