Sunday, 25 January 2009

When in a hole ...

The BBC has once again got itself into a hole over the Gaza appeal, but is displaying its usual obduracy and refusing to stop digging. The commercial channels have no difficulty in broadcasting the appeal. It has been made by the Disasters Emergency Committee which is a reputable coalition of charities which has made appeals in conflict zones before. Backing the appeal is not a sign of approval for Hammas policies or a criticism of Israeli ones, it is simply a recognition of the fact that there is a very serious humanitarian crisis in Gaza which requires international action.

The BBC has had a recent track record of shooting itself in the foot. Public service broadcasting is potentially always under attack from the right because its attempt to be balanced is seen as concealing a liberal bias.

Public service broadcasting is an asset not just in Britain. The country benefits from the BBC's worldwide reputation for editorial rigour and impartiality. If one lives in a country like the United States, as I have, one notices the absence of a public service broadcaster. PBS, by raising money from individuals and corporate donations, does its best to fill the gap and its radio service is particularly good. But American television is unwatchable because there as so many adverts.

By trying so hard to get things right, the BBC manages to get things wrong.

1 comment:

OT said...

Yes the BBC is getting it all wrong again and showing no heart or compassion. One does wonder why its director is paid over £800,000when he manages to get decisions wrong more often than one would by tossing a coin. And then there is Mr Woss who is paid £6 million a year by our public broadcaster ... silly, silly BBC.