Tag Archive | bbc

Andrew Benson – The worst F1 journalist out there

Here are a list of stories that all turned out to be bollocks that Andrew Benson has put his name to. These are just a few I remember…

Nico Rosberg could be punished by FIA after Lewis Hamilton clash

Fernando Alonso: McLaren target Ferrari driver for next season

Jenson Button’s McLaren career uncertain after Alonso pursuit, contradicted by Ferrari set to retain Alonso & Raikkonen

Ross Brawn to leave Mercedes at the end of the current F1 season, then 2 months later Ross Brawn to take six-month break from Formula 1

You’d also believe that there’s only a few drivers in F1, and they’re all called Hamilton, looking at his stories since June.

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Paul Gambaccini, Jimmy Savile and BBC Radio 5 Live

Paul Gambaccini

This morning Paul Gambaccini, a man who has been employed by the BBC since 1973 (on and off) made a pair of severe accusations regarding Jimmy Savile. I’m not sure what the laws on libel are or of pushing on false information so I won’t repeat the allegations here, but it was truly shocking and a quick search on popular social networks will tell you what they are, I’m sure.

To give a quick outline without getting myself into trouble, the allegations surrounded illegal sexual practices attributed to Savile beyond anything he’d been publicly accused of thus far and police corruption. 5 Live Breakfast, the show in question, is available here and the interview took place in the last half an hour, though I’m not sure if it’s included in the stream.

I think it’s understandable for a lone blogger to be a little unsure when it comes to publishing information like this but for The Guardian, a renowned purveyor of media news, not to report on it at all, I find a little strange.

Ok, it’s a busy day for news what with George Entwistle attending his hearing today but I don’t think I’ve ever heard such absolute and shocking accusations on the radio before (or in any other media, come to think of it). Nicky Campbell was clearly taken aback by what he’d heard, which is unusual for him.

There will be more to come from this, I can guarantee it. Although there was a bit of chat on Twitter, there wasn’t a lot which surprised me. I was half expecting to read comment and reaction almost immediately but… nothing.

I’m wondering it’s a legal thing or if it’s another example of the media lying on a story (another thing Gambaccini said was happening), despite the fact that it has already been broadcast, live, on a show that, in the last quarter of 2011, had listening figures of 2,512,000.

Will the BBC tear itself apart?

Paul Gambaccini has been very vocal since the story broke and was the first person I heard in any media to say that he knew about Savile’s antics, for what of a better word. He seems, to me at least, to feel incredibly guilty about the whole thing and wants to make a point of exposing anything he may know that hasn’t already emerged.

My biggest fear is that the BBC may tear itself to pieces over all this. Ok, if bosses at the BBC knew what Savile was up to at that time, they should be called to account. It seems at first glance to be all old news but, in light of the pulled Newsnight exposé, these things run to the present day. If the knowledge was as widespread as Gambaccini says it is, heads will roll. If it turns out that what Savile did was not isolated and was, in fact, commonplace in the culture of the BBC, I predict it will not survive in its current guise.

The BBC is an incredibly important thing to me, personally. I use their services each and every day without fail. I cannot think of another company (except Google/Android for my phone), corporation or media outlet I use with such regularity. I listen to their radio stations, I watch their television output, I read their website.

It’s good that the BBC themselves are, slowly, taking control of the situation with the Pollard Inquiry and that they’ve appointed an external chairperson is to their credit. They’ve had one hard-hitting current affairs show investigating another on the same channel – this is unique worldwide, surely?

Let’s just hope that the worst case scenario is not the reality. For everyone’s sake.

Radios need screens? Bollocks do they.

I’ve just read this article from Tim Davie from the BBC’s head of audio and music. Apparently in order to engage listeners, radio will soon need visual content.

I’m a big fan of pure audio and I have always felt that audio will hold up for a long time but in terms of the devices, it will have a screen on it. We have been at it for a while, but what information we give on that screen, that is now a real issue.

I’d hope he was a fan of pure audio, as he calls it. He is the BBC’s head of audio and music!

A sidenote: Tim Davie is the man who decided that closing BBC 6 Music and BBC Asian Network was a good idea. He backed down after being told he was wrong by thousands of petitioners.

We don’t need a screen to enjoy radio. I’m not sure about you but when I’m listening to the radio I’m usually doing something else be it on my PC, doing the washing up, driving the car and whatnot. A screen to tell me something about what I’m listening to is not important to me.

That’s another issue. what on earth do they want to put on these screens? Tim doesn’t know:

Radio needs to be careful that you don’t just visualise everything and chuck up video everywhere. Our power has always been about the curating and the editing, rather than just showing stuff on a webcam.

I have a digital radio which has a little dot-matrix display on it. I’ve known it to show song titles and artists or the name of the show I’m listening to but apart from those things I can’t think of anything useful that’s cropped up on it. Talksport put sports news headlines on it but they read those out every half an hour anyway.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has trouble reading something while trying to listen to someone speak, which kind of cuts out the possibility of putting meaningful written content on the screen. To show video would just make it T.V., which radio isn’t.

A wise man once said “T.V. doesn’t go around corners”, or something like that. I can’t remember who it was but it’s true. If the radio started using screens, at what stage would that screen become necessary to the enjoyment of radio? It would have to enhance the experience otherwise it isn’t worth doing. However, as soon as it becomes useful, radio starts to directly compete with T.V. – there is only one winner there.

We need to be on more smartphone devices. If I have one challenge for the industry it is to get on devices, we need to be distributed on iPhones and all the various platforms. That is the real priority.

What he means by this, I’m not sure, as there is a wonderful mobile app called TuneIn Radio. If you need more content than what they can provide you’re either very obscure or being deliberately obtuse! Also, the BBC have their own iPlayer app, so they’re on there already themselves.

If this is the direction which radio feels it needs to go, it had better try bloody hard not to lose its USP, namely being able to enjoy without looking, or we could end up with even more TV people aren’t interested in watching.