Monday, June 04, 2012

BBC’s standards slipping


The BBC’s coverage of the Diamond Jubilee river pageant was dire. Only the excellent Clare Balding managed to maintain the standards once set in the coverage of national events by our state broadcaster.

The studio-based linking from Matt Baker and Sophie Raworth was as vacuous as it was obsequious and the various vox pops presented by John Sergeant, Anneke Rice, Ferne Cotton and Sian Williams were not only largely irrelevant to the event but stupefyingly gormless.

Every cliché in the book was not just used but overused to destruction with “iconic” the clear winner. Meanwhile the very interesting history of many of the craft in the pageant went unmentioned as one fawning reference to a royal’s costume followed another.

That the BBC has to match commercial broadcasters in its popular programming is accepted – nor is it new. The public apparently wants talent contests and sofa- based chat shows and football and soaps and the Beeb has to provide them - a fact of life given the nature of the broadcaster’s funding. You can hardly justify the licence fee, modest though it is at just 40p per day per household, if nobody watches your programmes. But a national celebration like the Jubilee requires the BBC not to dumb down, as it did, but to present a coherent, knowledgeable, articulate and literate commentary. This they singularly failed to do.


At 10:55 am , Blogger Chris Davies said...

I don't work in TV - but even I could tell that this was a complete farrago; the camera locations were wrong, the choice of shot was wrong, the selection of shot by the director was wrong, the voice-over was utterly uninformed and inane; the use of "celebrity reporters" utterly weak...technically the quality of sound and robustness of connection to the various roving reporters was a shambles. It all said to me - unrehearsed and underprepared. What's worse is that a spokesman from the BBC has apparently defended it, saying "We're proud of our output from this great event...". Seriously - when you've cocked up as grandly as this, and even the poor reporters can tell they are involved in an unfolding disaster, admit it.


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