Saturday, 9 April 2011

Auntie-Social Behaviour - and arrogance

Given the Murdoch monstering handed out to Dr. Vince last Christmas, with the rather back-handed connivance of the Torygraph, there is something that feels faintly dirty about even questioning the BBC.  It is, after all, a paragon of public service, and as a committed user of many of its channels there is a great deal to be defended.

When I was active last year in the campaign to stop the proposal to close 6 Music, it appeared to me that the market failure argument had got lost - the same applies to the World Service.  It is probably axiomatic that the BBC's radio channels, especially 3, 4, 6 and WS would not be replicated on a subscription-only model - but I do find the TV output increasingly insulting to the intelligence (save BBC4).   However, just because I value these services does not mean that others should be culled.

One of the most interesting proposals has been to decimate local radio.  This would not go down too well with tinpot politicions who are devoted to a 20-minute appearance to boost their media credentials - but it would reduce still further the BBC's commitment to what would be described by marketeers as a down-market, trending elderly audience.  Now they pay their licence fee too, and just because it doesn't appeal to me or to those who would describe them with an arrogance born of sitting inside the M25.

Mind you, there would be a strong case for just broadcasting "Today" on BBC London as its breakfast show - it does seem to be becoming rather frightened of the big bad world beyond London's Orbital Motorway.  Perhaps the producer has been reading Iain Sinclair...

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