Wednesday 17 February 2016

New broom required

There is very much a sense in the "welcome" extended to Holyrood's broadcasting reform proposals of the BBC very grudgingly bowing to what it now recognises is inevitable. The pressure for reform from across Scottish society was simply irresistible.

But there is also a distinct possibility - correct that to probability - that the little power cliques within BBC Scotland may choose to put on a show of grinning and bearing it while assuming that they can 'manage' these reforms so as to preserve their own influence. This would be disastrous.

I have always maintained that the institution of the BBC, along with its independent funding model, represents the best hope for public service broadcasting (PSB). The issues with the BBC are entirely a matter of bad management. Appallingly bad management.

While resisting the dumbly simplistic demands of those who would throw out the PSB baby with the BBC bathwater, I strenuously maintain that any reform which fails to address the ingrained management structures and practices is doomed to fail.

We don't just want a mini-BBC for Scotland. We need a comprehensively refreshed and transformed public broadcasting service.

This may well be the last chance to rescue genuine PSB from the destructive forces of commercialism and casual incompetence. Drastic action will be required. The starting assumption must be that everything must go. Only a ruthless pruning of the layers of old management will leave space for fresh ideas.

Nobody should get comfortable with the notion that any reform acceptable to the existing BBC hierarchy can possibly be the end of the story. The simple measure of how effective reforms are likely to be is the extent to which they are resisted by vested interests. We'll know we're getting it right when we hear them squeal.


  1. Just get rid of it altogether! I can spend my 145 quid on something worthwhile

    1. But you couldn't. That's the point. There are plenty of commercial interests who would happily take your "145 quid" from you. But what they would offer in return would be nothing like what the BBC provides for that money.

      You would destroy public service broadcasting for the illusion of saving money. Rupert Murdoch just loves people such as yourself.

    2. What representation does YES, best part of half of Scotland get? It never going to be impartial, it Couldn't be. If SNP had screwed up as much as BT and then individually, especially British Labour. It would be 24/7/365 in your face trashing. Why fund one of your greatest foes, if not the greatest? British Nationalism/BBC.

  2. The BBC is lost. It has been for years. The same old tired faces, the same repeated constantly and presenters who think they know better than the people they interview.

    Out of control, but also lost their one voice when there are so many ways people can now get their news.

    I still expect the BBC to get to charge every single property in the UK whether they watch the BBC or not. That may well become the last straw.

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  4. I cant see the BBC EVER giving us what we want, its not in their nature, no matter HOW beneficial it is for them, they have (and always will) an agenda that supersedes mere self-interest, they would rather die than accept that they were created as a PUBLIC service provider, they see it differently , they see US as being there to suit THEIR needs!