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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