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 César 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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