I listened to the 11 o’clock news as I drove home today. I counted 9 items.
- One item was news – the value of the Footsie Index. But they don’t announce that everyday, so why today? Anything happened that was different from yesterday?
- Another item was past tense but vague. A woman pleaded guilty . . . no information on when, where or the context other than the charge.
- Two items were advertising – one for BA and one for the Labour Party.
- A handful were information from the National Statistics Office that rightly belonged in commentary as the data describes events of months ago.
- And some filler stuff intended to be titillating.
What would happen if BBC became an honest filter and said “Nothing happened in Britain this morning that is worth bothering your head about.”
1. They’d get back to the work mandated in the Reith vision.
2. We’d say, Where did the news go? My favorite part of the day!
3. We’d realize that the BBC are not that good anymore and stop paying our license fee.
4. We’d say cool. Wake us up where something happens.
The test today is to fill in the Other scenario!
Or, pick one of the others and elaborate –
- I am old and listen to the radio a lot.
- I am young and rarely switch it on.
- I am a journo and I am not going to bite the hand that feeds me.
I want BBC to live up to an ideal that is in my head. Be the best filters in the world. Provide structure to ideas in the top 20% of any profession. Is that too much to ask?