Monday, 30 January 2012

Street Porter points the gun at the Beeb and its local news coverage

Yesterday's Independent on Sunday carried a huge critique of the BBC from one of its former employees Janet Street Porter.

Shooting from the hip.the former champion of  "Yoof TV" compared the corporation to the Titanic.

But it was her thoughts on how the service deals with local news that caught my eye.

Here is what she had to say:

Chris Patten says he wants "more specialist and local content" on the radio, and regional television current affairs protected. Has he ever seen my local news, Look North, in Yorkshire? It is appalling, presented by a weird-looking bunch of people with zero charisma. At 10.15 it regularly features just three items covering a huge part of the UK. In Kent, South East Today has an equally random pick-and-mix agenda that tries and fails to cover a region ranging from wealthy bits of East Sussex to poverty-stricken Sheppey.

adding that

Local television current affairs should be culled. Leave it to newspapers and online coverage. As for local radio – just because bands of people complain, it doesn't mean these stations have a meaningful audience. The BBC is still guilty of massive over-staffing in news and current affairs. Why do we have to have a completely different hourly news bulletin on Radio 3 from Radio 4? News is news. Local bulletins are necessary only twice a day in drivetime. The current local regions are so large as to be pointless. Community radio and television broadcast online and staffed by special interest groups is the only way forward. That way I can watch my council meetings on my laptop

Is she correct.It is an interesting point and I suppose it revolves around whether other providers can step in where the Beeb no longer goes.

That is a question that will take up far much more room than on this blog

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