"Newspapers contributed to the crisis by failing to develop platforms, and by giving away their content for free."
A strategy adopted by some of the print media (Metro, Evening Standard, et al.).
The BBC has blown a raspberry at both the Minister of Fun and the Chancellor, who want a smaller and more focused BBC, by setting out plans to embiggen itself. The media giant’s new strategy, which has a pre-election feel to it, sees the Corporation expanding furiously in all directions while threatening to close down iconic …
Just like The Register then.
You have a captive audience as well. I am a connesieur of commentardery. Nowhere else on the internet can I find a finer gathering of wankers and blowhards to downvote me.
I love all of the commentards here, its just a shame we have to gather on this so called website.
Reddit is too hard and twitters 140 characters arent very accomodating when it comes to a full bore, witless and rambling rant such as this.
AC because ill get downvoted and just like Eadon (probably) I rub my nipples everytime I get downvoted.
While on the face of it the public service reporters idea is a good one, the cynic in me thinks that the local newspapers will continue on their single minded destruction of their own businesses. That's something that, by and large, they have acheived with no help from the BBC, by cutting staff, regionalising production, so that little things like knowledge of correctly spelled local place names is lost, as papers are subbed hundreds of miles away from where they are notionally based.
The big local companies have merged production and newsrooms, cut reporters on the ground, and often have the most ghastly unnavigable websites, with content repeated across various micro-editions.
They have achieved all this, together with a continuing payout of dividends to their greedy shareholders and management, on their own. The reason they are in such a shitty, parlous state has far more to do with that than to do with the BBC.
And, given the ready availability of a 'shared' resource that's they don't have to pay for, it doesn't take much imagination to suspect that they will grab it with both hands, and see it as another opportunity to cut staff, rather than do anything to actually improve their offerings.
"cutting staff, regionalising production, so that little things like knowledge of correctly spelled local place names is lost, as papers are subbed hundreds of miles away from where they are notionally based."
And in the case of my local paper not bothering to send a photographer out to the scene of the story - they just print screen-scrapes from Streetview.
Yep; photographers have long gone. Which is silly, because in the old days, the press photographer going round the flower shows, sports days and so on was one of the things that helped encourage people to buy a copy of the paper, and tell Auntie Flo to get one too, so she could see little Jimmy.
The Hampshire Chronicle office in Winchester used to do a good trade in prints from the pictures, I believe. Sadly that's now just another branded website with the same look as the Echo. Never been the same since they got rid of the ads on the front page...
The heads of companies like Archant and Newsquest seem to be able to trouser huge amounts of cash, while paying staff a pittance. With so few people on the ground, they're reduced to trawling twitter and asking people for permission to use photos that have been posted.
Heard someone from the Bournemouth Echo on radio 4 this morning commenting on BBC plans. Saying how they already got a million viewers of their website, and didn't need Auntie's help, nosiree. Look them up and lo and behold - a newsquest subsidiary.
Archant's seem to be more regionally focussed in terms of their core daily paid papers cover Norfolk and Suffolk, the paid weeklies generally extend upon that area (with the exception of Kent and Somerset!).
But presumably part of the reason why they have had to carry out these cost cutting exercises is because their revenue from job ads & other classifieds has collapsed by such a significant amount. I remember when there would be about five or six job pages each day in my local evening paper whereas now there is usually about one to two on a good day.
Yes, the small ads of course used to be a pretty reliable stream of income, and that collapsed, and caused huge problems. I would maybe go as far as to suggest that not finding a way to replace that revenue stream, and being very late to the party when it comes to offering online classifieds is the real cause of the problems so many local papers have.
They could have tried coming up with a decent online proposition for classified, or perhaps investing in real local news which has never, despite their moans, be a real strongpoint of the BBC website. But instead they've laid people off, cut costs in the wrong places (production, subbing, photographers) and paid execs a huge amount.
Last year, for example, Newsquest reported an 11% slump in profits (Graun link here), but still managed to find £268k to give one of their directors a performance related payment!. Some of the company's journalists on titles in London don't even make the London Living Wage, presently £9.15 an hour.
Management refuses to invest in their product, trousers the cash and then blames the BBC for their own failure to innovate. Nice work if you can get it, eh?
Maybe. But I think other 'tudes sported by so called journalists are a more important part of the problem. I use to be one of those people who actually paid to have a newspaper delivered. Then the bias got to be too much for me so I stopped the subscription. I carried it even when my news was mostly more than 24 hours late because the morning paper was delivered after I left the house to catch my train. But the bias was just too much. For a while I picked up a freebie at the station, then they stopped printing the freebie in preference to web only.
The big local companies have merged production and newsrooms, cut reporters on the ground
I went to a photo-shoot this evening. The paper wanted to do an article on a bunch of us.
This afternoon, they rang to tell us that they didn't have a photographer available, so could we take the photo ourselves and send it to them?
"I assume you have a specific "him" in mind. Is this a "guess who?" competition?"
within the context of the person named in the primary article, and the accompanying headshot of a grimacing mannikin, I considered further identification superfluous.
If you read the report its pretty obvious
Hi I'm Tachi McKoma, you might remember me from such commentard post such as "I won't pay for that BBC crap" and "Not paying for a TV licence means I can afford a healthy heroin addiction!*"
Had the parents stay with me for a few weeks and they paid the BBC tax so they could watch the sport or Eastenders or something, when they left there was another 2 weeks left, so I decided to give it a concerted effort and see if it was still as bad as I remembered.
Yep, after a few days of Top Gear re-runs and some baking show with a contestant that looks like Rick Mayall, I disconnected the aerial again and didn't bother, even when it was free I couldn't find much worth watching.
Not to belittle people that do consume BBC content, or TV in general, I just feel it has been surpassed by on demand content. If I want to watch a drama, I can just fire up Netflix or LoveFIlm or NowTV or Amazon Instant or certain proxy/file host services and watch an entire season over a weekend, not have to wait a week for the next episode. I'm doing that now with The Strain, very good it is too, even if it does make me think of Las Plagas from Resident Evil 4/Blade 2.
This announcement just feels like a knee jerk reaction and an attempt to embed the BBC into even more services as possible to make it "indispensable" when the next charter comes up.
Icon because I'm a miserable grumpy hermit
So I'm stuck paying the telly tax if I want to use my computer because we all know the iPlayer "loophole" being closed will mean anyone capable of using iPlayer in the UK will be rogered senseless until they pay up.
Not only is the telly tax regressive, it originally depended on the WT Act for its existence. I suppose you could argue that anyone using WiFi is technically receiving TV off-air but that's pure sophistry.
Also, isn't it a bugger when a tin-pot broadcasting company full of luvvies can hold your democratically elected government to ransom? There's something seriously amiss with that situation.
"Over two thirds of voters picked someone other than the Tories."
That argument might hold water if those two thirds all agreed on the same party. As it stands, despite ending up with Cameron, it's probably the "best" system we have to work with. Most of the PR systems seem to mean that some constituencies might end up with a 2nd or even 3rd placed candidate being your new MP.
Maybe we could go sort of american and use first past the post for MP and largest total vote for Prime Minister and see if we can hamstring the govt. more than usual by having opposing parties running the joint at the same time. That might even be a good thing ;-)
(I don't think I want to see US Presidential style elections separate from the MPs elections)
>Maybe we could go sort of american and use first past the post for MP and largest total vote for Prime Minister
POTUS is not elected by a total vote. Read this and be surprised...
Slightly different topic: At least the Americans realise FPTP only works if there's two candidates so they have introduced multiple rounds of voting by having the party primaries.
POTUS is not elected by a total vote. Read this and be surprised...
Yes, I was aware of that. And that the Electoral Collage reps are not obliged to follow the their constituents choice. :-) That's why I said "sort of american" in that we don't actually vote for a PM, the winning party's leader (usually!) becomes PM (Although the MPs could theoretically choose someone else, especially if the party leader doesn't win his/her seat.
Slightly different topic: At least the Ameicans realise FPTP only works if there's two candidates so they have introduced multiple rounds of voting by having the party primaries.
But isn't there usually more than two choices? I thought the primaries were where a specific party choose their single candidate. But that doesn't preclude more parties or independents going up for POTUS.
have to say if I was georgeous George and had the BBC threaten me with that, I'd say bring it on. The distraction caused by the news and the subsequent debate would let me cover up all manor of nastiness.
Don't forget the Tories hate the BBC with a passion because they are independent and have the temerity to report government policy and its effects. They even go so far as to air people questioning their policies and to highlight mistakes. All politicians, commercial organisations and media proprietors hate the BBC, it is independent, it has secure funding, and can't be bought with advertising revenue.
It really isn't politically biased, but we tend to highlight those times the BBC reports against our beliefs, rather than those the report for, and these days small voices can be amplified by social media. If the BBC did not exist, the world would be the poorer, and the UK much less free.
They're biased alright - they just like to cover it up by loudly insisting they're unbiased and therefore anyone calling them out must, ipso facto, be biased themselves.
Way back when the UEA climategate emails first came out, exposing the web of lies the anti-global cooling industry was built on, the BBC's first report was along the lines of "emails have been leaked from a climate institute. There is nothing to worry about". As someone who, at the time, didn't know or care about the global cooling debate, it was confusing and very obviously one-sided. It spurred me to look at newspaper websites to discover that the entire heart of the global warming industry had been torn out and laid bare, destroying what I now know to be a core part of BBC editorial belief.
Since then I've never trusted the BBC news website to give a complete picture of what's going on. At best it's a pointer towards what young, left-wing, London-dwelling arts graduates think should be important. And Andrew Neil on Sundays.
Okay, now I'm seriously confused. I never saw anything come out of Climategate. Nothing actually changed after it all died down, it was all just covered in flung poop.
I already knew 99% of humans sucked at statistics, including a lot of scientists, and that science involves everyone bashing each other's pets until bits stop falling off.
As far as I can tell, the BBC were right.
At best it's a pointer towards what young, left-wing, London-dwelling arts graduates think should be important. And Andrew Neil on Sundays
At best it's a pointer towards what
young old, rich, left-wing, north-west London-dwelling arts graduates think should be important. And Andrew Neil on Sundays.
>old, rich, left-wing
Those three just about cover then entire UK population ... Labour, Conservatives, UKIP, BNP and the other stupid little parties from Ireland and Scotland want to take money from the poor and feed it to the rich. Left-wing is usually the opposite.
"They're biased alright - they just like to cover it up by loudly insisting they're unbiased and therefore anyone calling them out must, ipso facto, be biased themselves."
I think Rod Liddle, ex-editor of the Today programme, has it right in a review of a book about the BBC:
'The truth is that the BBC has tended, over the years, to be biased in favour of the mores and opinions of whatever establishment holds sway. Not the government, but the establishment. Today’s establishment is liberal, politically correct, politically naive and gullible. It’s no surprise that Charlotte Higgins is incapable of recognising this, seeing as she is part of it.'
Two issues here:
1) Radio transmissions to PRNK and TV services to Russia (you missed the Russia bit Andrew) :
This is quite obviously a Gov request for propaganda so Gov shouldn't whine.
2) Free TV licences for the over 75s.
Just because someone is 75+ doesn't mean they are poor, the Queen is over 75 and worth a few hundred million; means test it. Warren Buffett is 85 and worth billllleeeeeooooonnns ;)
Which is the standard argument against universal benefits for older people, such as bus passes, winter heating allowance etc. The problem could be fixed by means testing them, but how much would it cost to means test every recipient of a benefit worth a most a couple of hundred quid? My suggestion is to up all the benefits by ~25-30% and make them taxable. Those too poor to pay tax at all would get an enhanced benefit, while those subject to higher rate tax would lose out a bit, and the net cost should by roughly zero.
IMHO the destruction of (most) local news is not BBC related, but came with the buyouts of lots of local newspaper companies. These days, many "local" newspapers are run by big journalistic outfits e.g. "Local World", "Trinity Mirror", "Newsquest" et al. Their "economies of scale" approach, means as few staff as possible in a "local" area, leading to few journos "on the ground" in any particular location.
In the East Midlands, most of my "local" newspapers (bar a few that just cover a small town / area) are owned by same mega company, "local" independent radio stations run by Capital (radio "local" news equally useless). Nothing for BBC to kill in my "local" news area
The same happened in the Bristol area. At one time it was called the Bristol Evening Post and slowly but surely you would receive it earlier and earlier in the day until you started getting it in the morning. After that they then moved the printing to Didcot in Oxfordshire and now you are basically getting Yesterday's news tomorrow.
The BBC is fantastic and a great institution but I am deeply concerned that they are increasingly taking over. Should the government own or sponsor the chief media channel, dominant arts distributor and principle news channel?
Just recently I was trying to catch up with what was going on with the Kids Company closure and suddenly became aware that I was soley relying on what the BBC was saying - and day after day this was clearly being influenced at the editorial level by government spin.
if channel 5 can afford all of the american tv and good films and engineering doc`s, and was sold for $30m, then the bbc should be able to afford the same, and make a few docs and victorian drama`s with £150m of the tv licence money, and not need a £1bn and have nothing to watch or no radio shows left for anyone to care about
all you ever hear on the bbc news is reuters, and seems like they have no journalists
the bbc are rubbish and should be on a decoder card
1 in 10 Magistrate Court appearances are for non-payment of TV licence, and one person a week goes to jail for non-payment, as it is treated as a criminal offence. Shame on the BBC for pursuing these prosecutions - 3000 a week!
If the Register were to share and experiment with a series of programs of novel note and radical free enterprise, would it be practically impossible for the BBC to not follow and report on their development[s]?
And yes, that is a live proposal you can accept as being already all ready for launching to explore the virtual strength of such as is advanced intelligent programming.
"Now I'm off to play with my twanger..."
Is it a big red one? Zippy's got a big red one. And don't forget, once you've got your twanger out you can bounce your balls as well if you like. Don't worry if you havent got any balls, you can ask a friend if you can play with his...
I am probably even more anti-BBC than Andrew Orlowski. However, if and when they go to a subscription model, we will, one way or the other, end up paying a lot more for our TV. We might be happy with that, but it will be more expensive.
The Beeb can only knock out telly for £145 because the entire TV owning population pays on pain of criminal prosecution. With a subscription model, their subscriber base will shrink and as it shrinks, remaining subscribers will pay more and more. In the end, BBC will probably cost even more than Sky, because Sky is an efficient private company and the Beeb is anything but efficient.
So it will be 2k per year for Sky or 3k per year for beeb.
Shifting to a subscription model is very unlikely to happen in a short time frame, and may well be kicked down the road until the next charter review.
That's because it will require a replacement of a huge amount of equipment, as Freeview kit doesn't support the card readers required. I talked about this in July's Breaking Fad. Obviously, not all Reg writers have the same view of the BBC.
My argument there is that, whatever you think of the BBC, a shift to subscription (at least in the short term) may well be the death knell for Freeview. How so? If people have to replace equipment in order to pay for a subscription service, why pay to do so out of their own pockets? I suspect that a substantial number of people would think "Well, if we have subscribe anyway, let's get some extra stuff too" and jump ship from Freeview to Virgin or Sky, both of whom will also jump at the chance to reel you in with a free box.
If the proportion of people doing that is significant, given the audience share the BBC presently has on Freeview, it may be the case that the other channels on the platform will decide to cut their losses, rather than pay for expensive distribution to a dwindling market. That would, of course, suit the mobile companies who want to grab the spectrum, as well.
Would ITV and C4 be enough to keep Freeview going, on their own? I doubt it, frankly.
Of course, there are other ways a move to subscription could pan out, especially if it were phased in well in advance - essentially if it was decided now, for instance, that it would happen in ten years time, then natural equipment replacement would probably ensure most people had suitable kit before it was required.
But if not, then in my view, given the current share of free to air viewing that the BBC does have, changing it to a subscription model might well have be sufficient to kill off quality free TV in the UK altogether.
"Sky puts out enough repeats of it. 3 or 4 Simpsons episodes in a row at teatime/early evening. I half wonder if its a Murdoch plan to stop people watching regional news programmes on Beeb and ITV."
My 5yo grandson is happy to watch the same episodes of Chuggington again and again. Most people above the age of 5 are a little more discerning and tend not to watch the same Simpsons episodes day after day. I wonder what Skys viewing figures are for the daily repeats of The Simpsons broken down by age groups?
As for the Beeb going subscription only, I give you Fox News. Advert and agenda driven "newsotainment". Watch it and weep.
"Businesses will pay nearly £8bn less corporation tax a year by 2016-17"
the gov should keep a few points of a percent and get rid of the tv licence, and pay for the bbc with the money
The archaic license fee can not continue. The fee is a tax which is effectively controlled by the government, so why not tax everyone? Most people are not paying for BBC content, occupants (family members) of houses of which contain a licensed TV, users of a PC, mobile devices, BBC radio listeners.
Over the air TV's will probably disappear completely with users choosing to watch content at a time they want to watch.
Poll taxes, for that is your proposal, are even more archaic and have a History of civil unrest. I moved away from Sky to Freeview because Sky wasn't worth the subscription (not a sports fan) and while I can record stuff I rarely bother to do so - there is only so much TV you can watch without going all spongiform in the brain.
My coat is the one with the 20 year old Radio Times in .
the bloody BBC overseas service, painting its false portrait of Britain as a saccharine-sweet land of milk, honey, dolecheques and free health care is one reason why we have so many damned immigrants clustering to invade our shores. The BBC presents us as a land of gold and beautiful women, available to all, and the aliens - illegal or otherwise - want a piece
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