I know the BBC is fighting for its life but this bit of blatant propaganda would have left Joseph Goebbels blushing with shame.

Headline from The Radio Times.
Headline from an article in The Radio Times magazine website.

This article is based around some research that the BBC commissioned, and WE paid for, which proves that the UK populace just don’t fully appreciate what the BBC offers them and that we’d go crazy if the BBC were suddenly removed from our lives.

I smell the odour of a rotting BBC fish.

1. This research was commissioned by the BBC (I wonder how much it cost). I mistrust any research that is commissioned by an organisation that just happens to help justify that same organisation’s existence. It’s like a cigarette company commissioning research into how healthy their fags are or a nuclear power company commissioning research into the benefits of drinking coffee laced with radioactive isotopes.

2. The sample size was a colossal 70 families. Let’s assume that each family had 4 members, that leaves us with a total of 280 people. 280? Out of a country with a population of around 66 million? Is that even remotely representative? When polling companies survey people concerning voting intentions they usually go for something like 1000 people. Now were the roughly 280 people chosen from a mixture of backgrounds, political affiliations, ages etc etc?

3. The quotes in this article remind me of a Not the Nine O’Clock News sketch where people offered their first born child, and everything they owned, just to help pay for the BBC. (And yes, I know that Not the Nine O’Clock News was a BBC show but that was back when the BBC actually created content I wanted to see).

The quotes really are a treasure trove. Here’s one of my favourites: “…being without the BBC was absolutely dreadful, just awful. I just didn’t realised how much we watched it.”

The whole tone of this article is that we, the UK population, just don’t realise how wonderful the BBC is and we should fight anyone who seeks to reduce its funding or make it into a more commercial organisation.

Nothing is mentioned of the growing popularity of stream video (and yes, the BBC do have a streaming video service, it’s just not that good when compared to Netflix et al). Nor is there any mention of the decline in the popularity of broadcast TV across the world.

I’ll add in my own view at this point. The BBC’s output has become so bland and beige that it just isn’t entertaining. I can count the programmes on the BBC that I make an effort to watch or listen to on the fingers of one hand, thumb not included. I find the BBC’s news coverage has often been transformed into some sort of semi-covert advertising for another BBC show due out in the near future. Coverage of anything remotely controversial is so blanded down that essential facts are withheld in the name of the BBC god, Political Correctness.

The BBC reminds me of the NHS. A state provided service that exists because the tax payer has no choice but to fund it. You have to pay no matter the quality on offer or whether you actually use it. That “take it of leave it but still pay for it” attitude is what truly sticks in my throat.

P.S. This morning I caught myself listening to Radio 5 Live just before 09:00. I wanted to hear the news so willingly (really?) listened to about five minutes of BBC burbling about how wonderful CBBC was. How it was better than commercial children’s entertainment channels (Nickelodeon was mentioned) because there were no evil adverts shown. How the quality of BBC children’s programming was so superior to commercial fare – and they held a mini roll call of the old CBBC chestnuts (Blue Peter was mentioned). This whole segment was just puff for the BBC. It WAS advertising for a BBC TV channel on a BBC radio programme. Oh, and they were also pushing a programme on CBBC (today at 18:00) about the history of the CBBC channel.

Now that’s what I call propaganda.

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