Is there anyone with a pulse at the BBCNews website?
The sloppy, incompetent, tentative and crypto-paywall nature of the BBCNews website at the moment does reflect the pitiful organisation as a whole. If these experiences are mine alone, then I’d be delighted to be told so by any reader of The Slog or indeed anything else – but somehow I doubt it.
Take first of all the ‘top ten stories’ page. Nice idea (if two years late) but every other link goes to Room 404. It has a map of the world showing the movement of day and night, such that anyone sitting reading it in the dark can be reassured that things are as they should be.
Then the ‘news’ pages. No scoops, nothing run that might be found distressing in Whitehall or Westminster, and political/economic coverage that becomes more bland with every day. Robert Peston in particular is beyond parody. “I have just discovered that everyone has passed the stress test”. Dear oh dear.
The commenting system: no urls allowed (terror of being seen to be read by ne’er-do-wells perhaps) and a moderating system stuck in 1955. I would imagine every comment has to be seen and sanitised by a hierarchy of committees, but I could be wrong: perhaps the moderating unit is just the one Oxbridge blue-stocking these days.
The emptiness has been given a gloss in recent weeks by The Big Redesign. The typeface is cleaner, lines of separation have gone, and there is more white space than there was. Sadly, all this does is highlight the sparseness of content. ‘Let content and substance go hand in hand at absolute zero’ might well have been the guiding motto. But with Mark Stubble in charge, the order that went out was probably to ‘allow more space in the website space and move forward via a critically young path towards positively interpreted empathy among the trustworthy-dimension oriented news consumer’.
My problem with the BBC is that I think Thompson is a process-obsessed prat from the Bendover school of independence – but the last thing I want is some Tory schoolboys wandering in and trying to flog the place to the ratings maniacs. Thompson doesn’t understand what the BBC should stand for, the Tories have not the remotest clue about its best role, beyond ‘having to face the market’ – and the Left would just like it to parrot everything they think….which is more or less what the corporation has done since Tony Blair had David Kelly killed with his own garden fork.
The Beeb should ignore the market and start being good again. I would put Clarkson in charge of sport and culture, Hislop in charge of political and business coverage, and make Jeremy Paxman DG – all of them with the brief to examine what’s really wrong with Britain, and shoot any politician – live on air – unwilling to answer a reasonable, straight question: that alone would solve the ratings issue overnight.
Unfortunately, I doubt if any of this fine trio entertain the remotest idea of taking up such positions; I mean, why make your life miserable when you’re already (and obviously) so much better than anyone else?