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Richard Black Is Not Alone

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Anybody wondering how did BBC’s Richard Black manage to post as poorly argued a blog as today’s, wonder no more: a few hours earlier, BBC’s Duncan Kennedy from Rome wrote an article with a gem like this:

In Italy, politics has literally become a contact sport

Looks like Mr Kennedy is reporting despite showing little awareness of his surroundings: between 1947 and 2008, there have been more than 35 political/mafia massacres in Italy. And many more individual assassinations. A “contact sport” indeed.

If that’s the new standard of BBC journalism, expect Richard Black to dive ever lower.

Written by omnologos

2009/Dec/16 at 10:25:35

Posted in BBC, Italy, Journalism

Are The BBC Blogs In A State Of Confusion?

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I have just started to realise how many blogs there actually are at the BBC, even if most of them are extremely hard to find unless one takes a look at the “BBC News blogs” area somewhere in the rightmost column of some blogs.

For example I knew already of Richard Black’s blog, and there is a link to it in the BBC Science News page, but no trace at all in the “BBC blog network“. Or perhaps I am not looking hard enough.

Today I “discovered” Tom Feilden’s blog…only because Tom has sent a link to it to me. Nothing about it in the “blog network” either. In there, there is instead a link to the Climate Change “Bloom” blog, mysteriously abandoned since 29 July (hopefully the people over there have not been sent to a re-education camp 😎 )

If one goes to what might have been the “home” page for the BBC reporters’ blogs there appears a sad page that has been dead for three years (a terrible thing for a news organization, if you ask me).

And where people would actually look, the left column of every page, no link to any blog at all. Is the Corporation as such singularly uninterested in blogs of all things, one wonders?

Written by omnologos

2009/Sep/16 at 22:22:39

Posted in BBC, Blogging

From Deimocracy To Theatrocracy: A Sad Day For The British Press…..

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…isn’it, when most of the headlines during the past few years can be explained in a few words in a farcical radio show.

Here’s an excerpt from BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show, broadcast Friday 26 June 2009:

We do not really want change, we want villains for our national pantomime […] everyone says they want change but hate figures are basically more satisfying and they don’t entail having actually to do anything […] it is much easier to find a hate figure [like the BBC in Iran]

Goodbye deimocracy, the power of fear…hello theatrocracy?

Written by omnologos

2009/Jul/01 at 07:46:33

Text Of Complaint To The BBC About Prepackaged Militant AGW “News”

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(AGW: Anthropogenic global warming)

The following is the text of the complaint I have submitted via the BBC Complaints website. For a history of the BBC Australian Climate demonstrations imbroglio, follow this link:

Phil Mercer’s article about the Australian “National Climate Emergency Rallies” is much less likely to be about informing people than an advocacy piece for the fight against anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Thereby it contravenes the BBC’s stated values of being “independent, impartial and honest”.

It is not independent or impartial because Mr Mercer has published his article before being able to check its truthfulness in full, making a guess on the number of marchers based on what the organizers expected.

It is not honest because it is presented as “news” when it has clearly been pre-packaged long before anything had actually happened, with information that could not have been confirmed at the time (please note that as of now Reuters still talks of hundreds not thousands of marchers).

There is nothing in Mr Mercer’s article that could not have been written beforehand. I understand it could be standard journalistic practice, however I do not understand why the BBC would have had to rush forward without fact-checking. Given the absence of any picture of marchers in Mr Mercer’s article, one is left wondering if he has actually seen any National Climate Emergency Rally at all.

As a further note against the BBC’s impartiality on the topic of AGW in this particular circumstance, only the BBC and a few local media outlets have shown any interest in the “National Climate Emergency Rallies”. And all newsmedia including those from Australia have spoken about the marches several hours after Mr Mercer. Please note that I am not claiming the BBC reported manufactured news. That would have been fraud.

Instead, I am asking on what basis did the BBC found it necessary to rush this kind of news first, and without having had the time to check the contents of the article. That is not fraud. That is bias. And as a TV licence fee payer I have the right to question why my money would have to be spent in AGW advocacy, in direct contrast with the BBC’s own values.

If AGW is so important to you why don’t you rewrite your values accordingly?

Written by omnologos

2009/Jun/15 at 21:57:14

Fake “News” On The BBC…

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It’s even worse. It’s about CBBC, aimed at a younger audience…this is the complaint I have just submitted to the BBC:

The “Close encounter with a wild hippo” story is presented as a news item but it appears to be a classic case of a “shameless plug” for a TV programme.

Given your target is the CBBC audience, most of them below the age of 18, in all honesty you should have made the whole situation clearer.

Written by omnologos

2009/Jun/01 at 23:42:24

Posted in BBC

Gordon Brown Gone Ga-Ga

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What’s next? The UK Prime Minister speaking about Kate Moss? Hasn’t he got anything else to keep his mind occupied?

Written by omnologos

2008/Oct/28 at 23:52:29

BBC Website Humiliating Dwarfs (Again)

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UPDATE #2: Received e-mail from the BBC confirming they have changed the text as “an inanimate lump of rock cannot really be said to be humiliated”. On my part, I do not think there was any “bad” intention. Just a poor choice (mix) of words

UPDATE: No word from the BBC yet but the article has been retitled “‘Non-planet’ Pluto gets new class” and its overall tone much changed, addressing 95% of my concerns. There could still be the possibility to argue for more, but frankly it would be pointless and pedantic.
Thank you, whoever did the changes at the BBC

Complaint sent to the BBC website today:

In the article “Humiliated Pluto gets new classyou explicitly associate the word “dwarf” to “humiliation“, “demotion” and “relegation.

I am not saying we should all be “politically correct” all of the time, but the article’s author could have just said that Pluto had been reclassified as “dwarf planet“, with no reference to “humiliation“, “demotion” and “relegation“, WITHOUT losing ANY information.

Who would say that to be a dwarf is to have a lesser dignity?

Conversely, you could try answering this question: why did you feel compelled to use the words “humiliation“, “demotion” and “relegation“?

Imagine if cars were sorted by colour, and somebody wrote of them being “demoted to black” after being repainted!!

Written by omnologos

2008/Jun/12 at 09:52:55

Posted in BBC, Ethics, Pluto

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