Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The obnoxiously offensive BBC...

...mastering the art of the most uselessly sanitised "stories".

Hardly a day goes by without the BBC knocking up a report or two looking like a cross between a filler, a pisstake and a plea to neutrality. Eager to leave behind the days of Gaza rows and Greg Dykes, the BBC decided to take a leaf out of Metro's book.

So come with us and meet the contemporary notion of BBC impartiality. Look at these recent headlines. Starting from today, the staggering Women pick up body odour better, with the added info that "Women may be better at sniffing out biologically relevant information from underarm sweat", as you do, which follows yesterday's astonishing revelation that "Scratching can stop an itch".

Then I learnt that Sisters make people happy ("sisters spread happiness while brothers breed distress, experts believe") and that there are "10 uses for a red rubber band" ("The Royal Mail is under pressure to stop its posties from dropping red rubber bands onto the ground").

However, if you were still doubting the irreplaceable public service that the BBC provides, look no further than the bombshell "What porn is really for", no doubt aiming at dispelling hairy palm-related myths.


Jennie said...

Why are any of those articles bad? I found several of them interesting and useful, even if I didn't agree with the way the science was reported on some. Do you just not like science reporting, Claude?

claude said...

Condescending or what?

the irony of this post has obviously gone over your head.
"Science" you call this? "Science"? The stuff about red rubber bands? Women who go shopping because it's that time of the month?

This has little or nowt to do with science or technology or any of the headings under which the articles are filed.
My point was to highlight the increasing aimlessness and blandness of some BBC reporting, with the frequency of your beloved protoscience articles increasing at a disturbing rate.

So we have a BBC website that can say literally ZERO words for days about the death of a man at the G20demo, but then they can write a report about "why men over 40 pick their nose more", or "hairyness of rugs explained".
You have a couple of rickety lines about a brutal homophobic killing in Liverpool and then a Magazine report about the uses of a red rubber band. And let's not forget the Gaza-appeal row last January.

So I will admit I'm peed off with the BBC, and I hope I have your permission to express so on my own blog, Jennie.

Jennie said...

Of course you have the right to engage in as much whataboutery as you like on your own blog, Claude. Knock yourself out.

Emma said...

I'm completely with Claude on this one. Personally speaking, I've been growing increasingly weary of the BBC's consistently lame and twee reporting style. They are utterly terrified of offending anyone, and, most of all, even choosing not to report some stories out of fear of looking a little off-the-wall.

I would much rather have seen a report about the brutal murder of Michael Causer, for example (a gay lad beaten to death, but conveniently not reported AT ALL by the BBC) than one about why dog's spittle is thicker than a cat's, or why shoe shopping makes you feel happier. I would also preferred to have seen some more in depth reports about relevant topics rather than seeing Jade Goody's face gurning at me from the front page. Seems to me like the BBC would rather give the work experience boy a pointless story to type up than get their arses out and write about some solid news.

The bottom line is that the BBC used to be the flagship of quality and trustworthy reporting, the Italian espresso of journalism, but now rather resembles a lukewarm mug of Tesco Value instant coffee.

The fact that all this has swooped over your head Jennie is a little sad, not to mention the fact that you think these quaint little stories are scientific. About as scientific as my handbag, I'd say.

Jennie said...

I'm not saying the BBC shouldn't be reporting about serious stuff as well, but I don't see why the idea that they should be reporting serious things necessarily leads to them stopping reporting the stuff that most people actually want to read. It's not a zero-sum game.

By all means campaign for them to cover the stuff that's important to you, but telling them to stop reporting something else in order to do that automatically sets you against people who might otherwise agree with you.

Emma said...

Does it interest alot of people, or does it contribute to the general blanding out/dumbing down of news?

No-one is saying that these articles should not be published, but when they take the place of real news (which I am very sure would be of more interest to a great deal more people) then it starts to get irritating.

This is the BBC we are are talking about here, The BBC, not some rag about trivialities that you read on the tube on your way to work in the morning. Let's keep things in perspective.

claude said...

Thanks, Liberal Jennie.

Thank you so much for granting the right to engage in as much whataboutery as I want.

Some people may like to "knock themselves out" on whataboutery and some others may do so on useless kipper polls.