The BBC: Worth Every Penny

Never let it be said that the BBC does not deserve its monopoly on being allowed to demand £3.5bn from TV owners on threat of imprisonment:

As airports begin to get back to normal after the volcano ash chaos, many people are still struggling to get back to the UK.

BBC journalist Jack Garland was stranded in Rome when the flight ban was imposed. He made his way back to London overland by train and bus, along with thousands of others.

He filmed the 53 hour journey on his camcorder.

That’s the article in its entirety, deemed important enough to enjoy a photo and a link from the BBC homepage.

Stranded in Rome?  My, whatever did he do for food?

Stranded is what Robinson Crusoe was.

Stranded is what the residents of the Odoptu Construction Camp were in the North of Sakhalin Island when an almighty blizzard blew through in January this year, covering buildings in 30-ft drifts, knocking out the power supply followed by the standby generator running out of diesel, and leaving them cold, wet, hungry, and miserable.  (Drilling didn’t stop, though.  Drilling never stops.)

Stranded is what the poor souls on the train that got whacked by an avalanche north of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk during the same storm were.

Not being able to fly home from Rome and having to take the train is hardly stranded, is it?  And I’m sure the camcorder footage of the arduous journey through Turin, Lyon, and – gasp! – Paris to get our brave reporter back to London will be well worth making into a mini-series.  Long-time readers of this blog might remember I once took a train from London through Brussels, Berlin, Warsaw and onto Kiev whereupon I took a taxi some 600km to Simferopol in the Crimea.  Where was the BBC then?  True, it was more an exercise in inexperience bordering on stupidity but it’s got to be more interesting than some BBC hack sitting on a train and not having to do so much as wave his passport.

Ah, I forgot: in the modern media, of which the BBC leads the pack in this regard, the journalist is the story.  No journalist, no story.  It’s all about me.  I am the story.  £3.5bn

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5 Responses to The BBC: Worth Every Penny

  1. Kalle says:

    I’d love to read about your taxi ride from Kiev to Simferopol, it definitely sounds more interesting than the BBC reporter’s train ride. Maybe you could give us a link to the story?

  2. Tim Newman says:

    I used to have the whole lot online, complete with pictures. To my infinite annoyance, I stupidly erased it from an old computer and I’ve lost it completely.

  3. SMU Cox MBA says:

    It’s just more proof as to why major media outlets are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

    Bad Idea #1 – “You can’t print that. They advertise with us.” That’s when consumers first got the idea that we didn’t need you anymore, Mr. Reporter. You became nothing more than a corporate hand puppet. Just another, albeit differently formatted, advertisement.

    Bad Idea #2 – “We don’t need journalists. We can get interns.” So you’re going to send some kid who doesn’t have the life experience of my sneakers to cover historic events? How are they going to know what’s important?

    Bad Idea #3 – “We can just keep doing what we’ve done for the last 150 years. If it was good enough for Grandpa, it’s good enough.” Let me see… I can pay for a stilted view of wet behind the ears kid who’s being steered by his ad sales manager, *or* I can use internet to talk to someone who is there, on the ground, and can explain in cogent terms what’s happening.

  4. idn says:

    Still, unsurpassed quality of BBC educational programmes and documentaries makes me very grateful for BBC existence. I hope my children would enjoy it as much as I am.

  5. Marco says:

    BBC is the most politically-correct medium in the World.
    Starting with its children’s programmes where they make sure that the main presenter is a black woman to its religious programmes where the Head is a Pakistani Muslim

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