Unrequired Reading {1.11.08}

November 2, 2008

Unrequired ReadingThese are some of the things that have caught my attention lately. It’s a more eclectic mix than just the news business, but then so’s life:

  • Old Media Won’t Die. It Will Simply Evolve | Business Pundit – "I maintain that newspapers can continue to fulfill their role while finding innovative ways to charge readers for their services. Because their services are centered around providing objective information to civic society, rather than bolstering the net worth of members of that society, they would best be supported through civic means.

    NPR uses donation drives. The BBC uses taxes. The CS Monitor uses a religious institution. All three of these newspapers offer damn good reporting. The New York Times, a profit-driven organization, has had some serious scars on its reporting record in recent years. The LA Times has, well, one movie critic.

    Non-profit, if run correctly, works. And innovative sales options remain."

  • Howard Jacobson on Brand, Ross and the BBC | The Independent – "Broadcasting is no place for those gifted with destructive energy. Radio and television are milk and water media, mediocre, fame driven, obsessed with their own listening and viewing figures, and culturally unprincipled. Decency is not the issue.

    Some newspapers have been wondering how a devout Catholic such as Mark Thompson could preside over the cesspit which is the BBC. Easily, is the answer, a) because the BBC is a pit of egalitarian trash, not filth, and b) because religion does not make a man cultured. Culture, culture is the problem, not morality."

  • How to manage a crisis | BBC – "The basic principles of effective crisis management are deceptively simple. The very essence of success – the first rule if you like – is to actually understand and accept that you do have a bona fide crisis on your hands. This might seem stunningly obvious, but may not be so for those at the centre of such storms."
  • Greedy BBC Blocks External Links | Blogstorm – "In an outrageous act of selfishness and greed the BBC has decided to stop giving real links to the websites featured in the “Related Internet Links” section on the right hand side of each news story.

    Links from the BBC have, historically, been some of the most important links that a website can get and there can be no doubt that Google rates the BBC as one of the most trusted sites on the web."

  • Russell Brand vs. Thomas Hobbes – no wonder the BBC is floundering | Comment is free – "Donald Baverstock, controller of television, complained that while TW3's writers were so robustly attacking other people's behaviour and beliefs, they had only "muddled standards and cheapjack values". As Peter Cook remarked to his fellow satirist, Christopher Booker, "Britain is in danger of sinking giggling into the sea."

    Out of the militant ironies of satire came stand-up and its associated forms of reckless performing, elevated to an importance in Britain as nowhere else as both entertainment and social criticism."

  • Performers fear ‘safety first’ will lead to exodus of talent as programme makers feel the chill | The Guardian – "John Lloyd, the producer of Spitting Image who is also behind the Stephen Fry-fronted panel show QI, said he hoped the incident led to a reappraisal of how risk- taking television was defined.

    "What passes for risk-taking in television today is showing people having sex on Big Brother. That's not a risk – it's just grubby," he said."

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