The BBC sports coverage team have a lot to answer for. Sometimes I feel that on the whole the BBC are a private club. I’m not doubting the abilty of the presenters to present edited highlights. Certainly, the crew that put together the ending sequences for the Wimbledon championships are skilled. My gripe is the lack of inclusiveness for many of the main events covered.
Poor Sports reporting
Take for example the 2010 Commonwealth games. Initially, to create sensationalism the staging was criticised. Maybe this was in an effort to ‘big up’ what the BBC may feel is an ‘also ran’ set of events.
In my view the BBC contradicted the nature and sense of the games. There is simply too much focus on the performance of UK home teams. I remember seeing one of the UK running teams finish 4th. Crazily the interviews were held with the latter and losing relay team and in the background the team that finished first were celebrating – you could see them in-shot in the background!?
At times during the coverage of the Commonwealth Games, there was an air of ‘how can the Indians be better than us’.
It was good that Michael Johnson put some of the presenters in their place. I remember it well.
It was after a winning run by an Indian runner. He suggested (paraphrasing) that this is what the games was all about.
However, it was sad to hear that this is what could be achieved at this time for the athelete and at this type of tournament. In my view reporing should include an element of inspiring others and celebrating in success.
Is this poor, biased or assumed reporting? Actually, all three could apply.
- Poor reporting means lazy researching and reporting. The knock-on impact is that it fails to inspire a nation or personalities from different background.
- Biased reporting means that analysis and feedback is only given to one side of a performance. We see this in patronising comments about a non-British team. It is easy to pick-up with the undertones of the commentator.
- Assumed reporting means that the editors feel that they know what is best for the public. Or, are they simply fueling their own interests.
With the Olympics approaching in 2012 will there be a change? At this moment I have no confidence in the editorial or presenting teams.
The need to change focus at the BBC
The BBC need to revisit their aims as a broadcaster. They need to remember the pledge of their charter, especially Section 4: item (e):
The Public Purposes
The Public Purposes of the BBC are as follows—
- (a)sustaining citizenship and civil society;
- (b)promoting education and learning;
- (c)stimulating creativity and cultural excellence;
- (d)representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities
- (e)bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK;
- (f)in promoting its other purposes, helping to deliver to the public the benefit ofemerging communications technologies and services and, in addition, taking aleading role in the switchover to digital television.
The growth of reality TV also doesn’t help. The BBC should be spending our money on reporting personal development and motivational stories and not on countless programmes based on property. For example, everyweek daytime TV allocates hundreds of hours on home improvement, purchasing, movement and antiques! Why? They also seemed to be lost in a world of reality TV, like every other channel.
OK, lots of criticism but the BBC cannot be beaten on fantastic technical work, the innovation of the iPlayer and the multitude of radio channels (albeit that I wonder what the true figures are for listeners)
Unfortunately, most of us eat what we are fed, rather than shout for change.
The public broadcasting service needs to be revisited. The channel needs to be reporting for the people and not at the people!