Proud not to be an official BBC music blogger

Congratulations to my friend Jessica Duchen who has been appointed BBC Radio 3's official Mendelssohn blogger for his bicentenary year in 2009. Readers will be disappointed to hear I did not apply for the post. Anyway, Jessica will do a much better job of 'moderating comments and discussions' about Radio 3's output. I hardly listen to Radio 3 these days. But this morning I heard a presenter, who would not have got past the first interview for a call centre job, imploring listeners to send in emails dissing Brahms' music, presumably so the 'listener participation' box could be ticked.

The arrival of BBC 'official bloggers' is relevant to the discussion about double-dipping. Having got critics including Norman Lebrecht, James Jolly and Tom Service on-side the lower orders in the classical music food chain are now being targeted by the BBC. I can just see what is going to happen. An official Radio 3 blogger decides, as I did today, that a programme is unlistenable crap, and posts accordingly. Official blogger is assigned to other duties by the BBC. Anguished screams of 'free-speech' from the blogging music critics. Thanks, but I'll stick to 'unofficial' blogging.

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Pliable said…
The Official BBC Radio 3 Purcell blog is a real corker -

Can BBC Radio 3 really be serious? Is the date April 1?

'My father and three of my brothers were choristers at the cathedral. As a late bed-wetter, I was not included in this'.

In 1992 I went to the Evening Standard as music critic, later chief music critic, where I stayed for ten years. I gained such a reputation for reviewing the Proms that the editor used to send me a crate of champagne every September.

I found a post in a school with a headmistress who had gone to prison and which closed two years later.

My wife Ronnie is a freelance journalist, editor and long distance runner. She tells me she is the 8th fastest veteran in Kent.'

Back to 'unofficial' blogging ...
Pliable said…
We can laugh at the above. But, it appears from the wording here -

- that 'Rick' is being paid by the BBC to write this dross.

And that is coming out of my non-negotiable annual BBC license fee.

Not funny.
Jessica said…
If it's any comfort, Pliable, the pay is not palatial. It merely helps those of us in "the lower orders in the classical music food chain" (ouch) to feed our cats.
Pliable said…
This 'official' post has appeared on the BBC Radio 3 Message Board -

It is quite possible that the BBC Radio 3 messageboards will be replaced by a series of blogs in the future, which could well improve the quality of discussion online. Please feel free to contribute to all four discussions as appropriate (post-moderated).

Which means only the 'official' viewpoint will be aired.

Also interesting to read that others have noted the move from the innocence of the early years of music blogging to the hard commercial reality of the credit-crunch years.
Pliable said…
It would be funny if it was not tragic.

Today the BBC has been fined £95,000 by the UK media watchdog for broadcasting 13 radio quizzes that listeners could not win.

The reason the listeners could not win was because the participants were invited to phone in during the broadcasts.

All 13 programmes that were being broadcast were pre-recorded.

Anybody still wondering why I do not trust the BBC?
Philip Amos said…
I am always happy to read anything Jessica has to say, and she, McCaldin and Aspen offer a concise bit of background for those unacquainted with them and then move on to the business in hand. All I got from Rick Jones' endless twaddle, on the other hand, is that he thinks himself quite fascinating. Damned if I'm going to waste time on that, though I shall certainly follow Jessica's and I'm keeping an open mind re the other two until I see more.
Tommy Pearson said…
Can I be a 'lower order' as well, please? I like being there.

Not sure how an un-official blogger who USED to be an official Radio 3 person ranks in the Overgrown Path pecking order?

The funny thing is, every time I bump into an old high-ranking R3 chum, they seem to be very well briefed on all my blogs! They clearly want to know what everyone is saying...

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