Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Yet you quoted my watchword "relatively".

Of course the BBC has biases towards a western anglo-aemrican economic viewpoint. That's unescapable. But let's admit that the reason Sky is not Fox is because of the Beeb.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 10:40:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you think Sky would work if it were more like Fox, though?  Fox plays to the most hardcore of the crazy Republican elements -- a group that I never ran into in Britain.  Yes, I know the BNP types are out there, but they're a very small group (about 1% of the British public), according to the election results I've seen, whereas I'd pin the hardcore Fox crowd at about 15% of the American voting population.  (They're smaller taken within the entire population.  Non-voters tend to sit decidedly to the left in America, which is why, I suspect, polling on issues reveals America to be much more liberal than its recent voting record would suggest.)

I'm not sure the number of people with an appetite for Fox-level journamalism are sufficient for a profitable channel in Britain.  And only a small chunk of that 1% would likely watch.

And, despite the other news organizations getting us the real story on (say) the lack of WMD and al-Qaeda links in Iraq, Fox is still Fox.  I think it probably goes more to profitability than the BBC's influence.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 11:23:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Prince Rupert already has The Sun and the The Times, so a TV channel with the same values might be overkill.

I half agree with Helen about the BBC, but I think it's based more on a fictitious and rather nostalgic view of the BBC from a few decades ago than the BBC we have today, which is a strange mutant hybrid of establishment noise machine, engine of confused private enterprise, and public service channel.

My point was really that the BBC is considered far more objective than it really is, especially in the US.

It's no Fox, but while Fox is nakedly and hysterically a pure propaganda outlet, the BBC is more dangerous still. It shifted noticeably rightwards after Kelly/Gilligan, and you can find it repeating many of the same talking points uncritically, while relying on its international reputation to give them credibility.

But I think what we still have some of is the idea of the BBC, even if the real organisation is only loosely related to that ideal.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 4th, 2007 at 12:46:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with you wholeheartedly on this; except that I think the rightward shift happened a fair while back,  people only noticed it after Kelly/Gilligan.

When John Birt was first in charge I think he wanted to return to the era of Weekend World with Peter Jay and the "Mission to Explain". However, I felt that this was already running counter to the infiltration of CNN 24-hour news standards of infotainment: First with news and bugger context.

Editors are notoriously "industry-fashion conscious" and all want to be seen to be the first to do things. eg, within months of Kirsty Young standing up on channel 5 news, practically every news programme featured correspondents marching around studios pointing at graphs on walls. So the idea that BBC News were going to do something dated and laughably 70s like explaining things was a total non-starter.

This is what is meant by dumbing down, and why News resists the idea so strongly. Yes, they feature correspondents reporting from all over the world, they get the best stories (ie sexy blood-soaked action of real-life people dying), but they would never dare depart from the conventional wisdom. Never explain something and allow the viewer a different viewpoint.

That's why they have the "Big Beast" interviews on News programmes. You allow a politician in to say his thing, you have another politican to say they're talking rubbish and then you tell everybody what they said. At no point will the BBC challenge the paradigm of their thinking. Don't confuse the audience, they're too stupid to think.

That's why Channel 4 News is the best on the box. They almost never do big beast interviews, but get knowledgeable experts in to discuss, dissect and ridicule the politicians lies and mis-directions. The BBC no longer has the courage to do that.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 5th, 2007 at 08:13:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
when I still watched news on TV in hotels while travelling, was that BBC and CNN (International version) were undistinguishable. They talked about the same topics for the same amount of time with the same info.

Some Israel/Palestine (or, nowadays, Iraq), i.e. US ME entanglements, the big summit or weather crisis or shooting war du jour, and sports and fluff.

No actual news.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jun 6th, 2007 at 11:49:59 AM EST
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In many respects, the BBC tries to copy Sky News in too many ways. The helicopter during the election is one example. I have another. I live on the river near Greenwich just under the point where helicopters have to wait to get Air Traffic Control authority to move because of the flightpath into London City Airport. The day after the fire on the Cutty Sark we had BBC and Sky helicopters swapping places to take the same aerial pictures of the now extinguished ship.

A similar thing happened when Blair announced his resignation. That time the BBC was lucky they were covering Downing Street from the north whereas Sky was further south so their helicopter missed Blair leaving via the back gates and Horseguards rather than the front and Whitehall. The BBC helicopter was tracking his car for a long time while Sky was still covering the front. We will see the same thing revisited when Brown goes to the Palace to "kiss hands".

by Londonbear on Tue Jun 5th, 2007 at 10:04:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Non-voters tend to sit decidedly to the left in America

That's probably true of many other countries. It is true of Spain, clearly.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 5th, 2007 at 10:17:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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