Saturday, January 09, 2010

Every picture tells a story


So what TV programme is this BBC publicity photo promoting? Presumably a profile of BBC creative director Alan Yentob, who is seen in the foreground, with a guest contribution from Shirley Bassey, who is behind him. Well actually no. The programme was a retrospective of the great singer's career presented by Alan Yentob. I guess when your annual remuneration is estimated at more than £500,000 and you are filing sometimes investigated expense claims for £27,000 you expect to be centre picture.

Somewhat unbelievably Alan Yentob is chair of the BBC's creative training board. In the first thirty minutes of today's BBC Radio 3 CD Review I lost count of how many times the singular 'acoustic' was used incorrectly to describe a building's sonic charcteristics. We must assume that presenter Andrew McGregor, who should know better, has not yet attended a BBC creative training board. Fortunately Graeme Kay, who compared recordings of C├ęsar Franck's magnificent Trois Organ Chorals on the same programme, does know better.


Now take a look at this BBC News website story about a Swiss millionaire's speeding exploits. The speeds are understandably expressed in kilometres per hour, which is the measurement of speed in Switzerland, and converted into miles per hour, which is the speed measurement in the UK where the primary audience and all the funding for the BBC's News website comes from.

But now look at the fines. The currency of Switzerland is the franc, yet the BBC journalist has expressed the fines as US dollars converted to pounds sterling, with no mention of Swiss francs. Why? Today's BBC worships at the altar of American media, so presumably the role model for journalists is CNN or FoxNews. Or could it be that the BBC website editor hasn't yet attended one of Alan Yentob's creative training boards?

Yes, of course On An Overgrown Path makes mistakes. But it does not receive more than £3 billion of guaranteed public funding every year. For real role models look no further.

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5 comments:

Pliable said...

Or is the switch from Swiss francs to American dollars a sloppy editing error on the BBC website? - the Swiss franc and US dollar are almost at parity.

But I think not - the conversion rate used in the story is exactly that for sterling to dollars, not to Swiss francs.

Whatever, the story should never have run like that.

On a more positive front Arthur Honegger is portrayed on the Swiss 20 franc note -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Honegger

Pliable said...

More from the BBC's creative training board here -

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6973992.ece

Alex and Justine said...

Also the photo is of a Ferrari 599 not a Testarossa.

I think you'll find that the story is simply cut & pasted from a US news site with no editing, hence the currency issue.

Pliable said...

'Also the photo is of a Ferrari 599 not a Testarossa'

Gee, the level of expert knowledge among my readers never ceases to amaze me.

'Simply cut & pasted' - that really sums up the BBC in 2010.

Thank goodness there is still some original thinking elsewhere.

Pliable said...

One of the many sad things about the decline of the BBC is that if you are critical of the BBC you are immediately assumed to be on the side of the Murdoch commercial lobby.

This mistaken assumption is repeatedly made by the pro-BBC Guardian and by its pro-BBC columnists like Marina Hyde, who like many Guardian journalists is also a BBC contributor -http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00jh4f5.

The headline on Marina Hyde's column yesterday screamed 'Fans of the tame, rejoice – TV's Beige Age is on its way' -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/08/fans-tame-rejoice-beige-age

If it is has four legs, a tail and barks, it is a dog. Irrespective of whether it is broadcast by the BBC or Rupert Murdoch.

Marina Hyde and others seem unable to grasp that increasing anti-BBC sentiments are not motivated by competitive agendas. They are motivated by the desire to end the narcissistic, profligate and creatively disastrous era of Marc Thompson, Alan Yentob, Roger Wright and the rest of the current BBC magic circle.