Allow me to translate the naked self-interest here

Jeremy Corbyn is half-right about the BBC – and 100% right about big tech
Roger Mosey
The Labour leader’s Alternative MacTaggart lecture had some good ideas – especially taxing tech firms to pay the licence fee

Hmm.

Roger Mosey is Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and a former BBC executive.

Ummhmm.

Corbyn is 100% right to re-examine the relationship between the new technology companies and traditional media. We have seen in recent years how little Facebook and Twitter care about truth and accuracy – and it’s vital to defend the media organisations that, despite their imperfections, seek to shore up the values that support our society. Newspapers have seen their content assimilated and their profits shredded by the Silicon Valley giants, so it is welcome that a major British political party is looking at how to tip the balance back in favour of journalism.

There are also signs of coming to terms with the relative lack of funding the BBC and other broadcasters get compared with the global behemoths: the BBC may still be big in the UK, but it is tiny compared with the American giants. Amazon, Apple and Netflix can potentially swat aside the European public service broadcasters in the way that online shopping is ravaging the high street. The proposal to tax the undertaxed global companies to support British content and British news is highly attractive.

What needs to be viewed with much more caution, though, is the Corbyn idea that BBC directors should be elected, in some cases by the staff and in others by the wider, licence-fee-paying public. There is certainly a case to be made against the current murky government and BBC management nomination processes, but worrying thoughts come to mind about “democracy”: the tiny turnout there is for elections for police and crime commissioners, the constant emails from building societies inviting you to vote for their new directors, about whom you know little and care even less – and then, of course, the possibility of these processes being hijacked by pressure groups. I have also sat through enough consultation panel meetings in the BBC to be wary of well-intentioned advice that can also be impractical, time-consuming and lacking in any empirical basis.

The last thing the BBC needs is to be hobbled by even more advisory committees packed with special interest groups, or to discover that the public have elected three members of Ukip to their main board. Equally, I would resist the notion that editors should be elected, in the BBC or anywhere else. The best journalistic editors would not necessarily win popularity contests.

What an excellent idea that we have lots of other peoples’ money but you’ll leave us alone to spend it, thank you very much.

26 thoughts on “Allow me to translate the naked self-interest here”

  1. Shut the BBC down in 24 hours flat.

    Non-existence in the space of a single day.

    Imagine the terror that will cause leftist scum everywhere.

  2. If Netflix et al have so much cash for programming we don’t need to give even more money to the BBC. We have plenty of other uses for the cash.

  3. The beeb, like the NHS, could consume the entirety of the nation’s GDP and still suffer from a “lack of funding”.

  4. How utterly unsurprising that Mosey thinks the biggest threat is that the BBC board might include three members of *spit* UKIP. Five members of Momentum? No sweat.

  5. “Relative lack of funding…for British content”

    Maybe they could stretch their funding a bit further by not paying the presenters ridiculous sums of money?

  6. “…how little Facebook and Twitter care about truth and accuracy…”
    A bit rich coming from ‘a former BBC executive’!

  7. ‘We have seen in recent years how little Facebook and Twitter care about truth and accuracy’

    They are platforms, not publishers. T&A is not their job. They would be wise to keep away from content. When they start managing content, they become publishers.

    ‘And it’s vital to defend the media organisations that, despite their imperfections, seek to shore up the values that support our society.’

    Liar. They are CM scum trying to destroy the society.

    ‘Newspapers have seen their content assimilated and their profits shredded by the Silicon Valley giants’

    Ignoramus. It ain’t the giants that’s the problem. The internet, and its billions of practitioners, is where the advertising money went. Ads in newspapers makes no sense when you can advertise worldwide for little money.

    ‘So it is welcome that a major British political party is looking at how to tip the balance back in favour of journalism.’

    Angels sing. One wonders what absurd definition of journalism he uses.

    ‘Journalists Place Near Bottom in Poll Ranking Public Respect for Professions’ – Newsbusters

    Let’s give the shits back some of their power.

  8. Firstly for those of us who gave up having a tv license and don’t watch live tv because of the sheer dross of most of the programmes – will there be a cheque in the post if the license fee is subsidised ?
    secondly i believe that corbyn wants to call the new board members – Commissars or politruks – definitely no jews though.

  9. “or to discover that the public have elected three members of Ukip to their main board.”

    What TMB said. I can’t believe he was stupid enough to allow that to be written.

    Ecks

    No need to shut it down – we could be perfectly fair? Just cancel the obligatory licence fee (give them one month’s notice for old time’s sake) and let’s enjoy watching 1) just how efficiently they can get their new voluntary subscription revenue system up and working, and 2) how quickly they manage to cut their cost base.

    Put interest bearing loans in place for any assets they want to take over (buildings etc, maybe even for goodwill!). Against that, throw them a bung to cover any committed obligations (pensions, notice periods). All the expensive ones have been supplied through companies so no such obligations there. Etc..

    I’d pay good popcorn money to watch that! If 2) doesn’t happen more quickly than 1), then one has the added bonus of listening to extended leftie squealing as it is put into liquidation..

  10. To ensure that there is a proper representation of all of the uk, Jeremy has decided that the board will have quotas. 33% muslim 33% black ,10% gay, 10% trans and 4% other. Abbott has objected and said that these figures should be doubled.

  11. “Newspapers have seen their content assimilated and their profits shredded by…”

    …the BBC.

    https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/bbc-news-website-under-attack-ahead-charter-review-newspapers-call-behemoth-be-tamed

    What an utterly shameless shower of filthy grubbing bastards.

    On the subject of what to do with the BBC and Licence, I think it’s fair to say that Mr Ecks is a pinko subversive. One hours notice to evacuate the buildings (mostly for office pets & plants, etc) and then send-the-fucking-bulldozers-in.

  12. “Newspapers have seen their content assimilated and their profits shredded by the Silicon Valley giants, so it is welcome that a major British political party is looking at how to tip the balance back in favour of journalism.”

    We have journalism. We have tons of journalism. There’s thousands of people writing on blogger and medium. If you want to stretch it, someone posting about an old lady down the street getting attacked on Facebook is journalism. There’s never been so much journalism.

    What’s dying is journalist as a job. It’s like photography. There’s a few people who are still pros but most of the money is spread across tens of thousands of photographers selling on places like Alamy and making some beer money.

  13. There are also signs of coming to terms with the relative lack of funding the BBC and other broadcasters get

    You’d never guess from this that the BBC’s income last year was over £5bn. Yes – five billion.

  14. Bloke in Costa Rica

    “Give us yer money, but don’t tell us how to spend it”. The prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.

  15. Newspapers’ peak circulation was 1987 (was looking at the ABC figures for Tim’s early query). Yes, the internet was invented in 1969, but the web didn’t arrive until 1990, and the web behemouths didn’t get into place until the 2000s, so how is web journalism the cause of the previous 15 years of newspaper decline?

    Newspaper circulation today is the same level at 1952, so you’d think having UKIP on the board to steam ahead into the glorious 1950s would be something they would desire.

  16. Rob,

    “You’d never guess from this that the BBC’s income last year was over £5bn. Yes – five billion.”

    On the odd occasion I peer into the BBC’s content, I really have to wonder where it all goes. Nearly all of it is crap. There’s the daytime/cookery/dance content cheap crap and the badly written but glossily produced drama and comedy crap.

    Looking at tonight’s wonders, it’s an early evening chat show, a crap sports quiz show, a soap opera a celebrity cooking show, the resurrected and awful Room 101, 2 sets of reality TV, a game show, a show about people repairing stuff, more cookery, gardening, an Asian standup show (FFS)*, Edinburgh Festival wank, the Proms**, reruns of TOTP and something about bhangra. Utter, utter shit.

    * nothing against Asian comedians. The Big Sick is a really good film, Aziz Ansari and Russell Peters are pretty good. But an all-Asian comedy show is politically correct garbage.
    ** every bit of classical music imaginable is on YouTube. It’s completely redundant to have the BBC funding The Proms.

  17. As an alumnus of Selwyn (matric 1954), I wish the Master would cease making statements on subjects on which he is clearly parti pris – to the extent that I shall with great regret disassociate myself from further contacts with my College, and review my testamentary dispositions thereto.
    Alan Scott.

  18. @Mr Ecks

    Imho shutting own BBC is a tad extreme, better to do it slowly

    First:
    TV reduced to BBC1 only; Radio reduced to R4 & World Service only; Web reduced to news only

    License fee reduced by 80% and increases pegged at RPI – 1/4rpi

  19. Bloke on M4 – I would imagine that the Proms could be made self-financing if the BBC had any savvy. Sponsorship deals, advertising and worldwide broadcasting rights plus marketing of recordings ought to be able to cover the running costs.

    And so what if, as you assert, “every bit of classical music imaginable is on YouTube” (which is blatantly untrue)? Are these the best available recordings rendered to the highest audio standards?

  20. “review my testamentary dispositions thereto.
    Alan Scott.” Good for you.

    One of my colleges has made a policy decision to rig admissions in such a way as to make it harder for my (hypothetical) grandsons to enter. And yet they’d like me to hand over moolah. Fat chance!

  21. @Diogenes “I would imagine that the Proms could be made self-financing if the BBC had any savvy. ”

    I doubt it. The BBC has a commercial arm and would have exploited the Proms long ago if they could. The problem is that every major country has its own orchestras and concerts so if there was demand for televised classical concerts they would have added a few static TV cameras to the concerts that they already record and broadcast on their classical radio stations. Barriers to entry are too low. Hence the only real market for the BBC Proms (apart from the last night) is the domestic market which is paid for out of the licence fee.

  22. Pcar said:
    “shutting own BBC is a tad extreme, better to do it slowly”

    No, because then they have years of broadcasting propaganda against you while they slowly die. It has to be strangled quickly.

  23. Alan Scott : review my testamentary dispositions thereto

    My college (older university /darker blue) sends me its quarterly news and intermittent emails which innoculate me against testamentary dispositions in its favour.

  24. Diogenes,

    “And so what if, as you assert, “every bit of classical music imaginable is on YouTube” (which is blatantly untrue)? Are these the best available recordings rendered to the highest audio standards?”

    Are the Proms? No, they aren’t. They aren’t hiring the best performers. They’re more inclined to hire fit birds like Katherine Jenkins who are far from the top of their game.

    And the value is extremely slight. I think Te Kanawa’s rendition of Porgi Amor is probably the best (and is on YouTube), but Jessye Norman, Dorothea Roschmann, Joyce Di Donato, or even trained mezzo sopranos who don’t quite hit the grade still do an enjoyable performance.

  25. “No, because then they have years of broadcasting propaganda against you while they slowly die. It has to be strangled quickly.”

    Hmmm . . . like Brexit.

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