Biased BBC blog in the BBC's Ariel newspaper
In amidst the BBC axe-wielding and blood-letting this week, in some areas it has been business as usual, and in-house newspaper
Pravda Ariel had a feature this week where Nick Reynolds was discussing the Biased BBC blog site.
Nick often takes part in the conversation over on the Biased BBC site - and sometimes on here as well - and it is a topic that interests me greatly.
I enjoy visiting the site and the debate on there, partly, as Nick says in his Ariel piece, because they do such a good job of it. Nick says:
"Biased BBC gets the basics of web publishing right. They post every day, have a very clear editorial focus, and link, link, link, link and link again. I don't have to read the Sunday papers anymore. Instead of lugging around a pile of dead tree I just go to Biased BBC."
And there they were, not realising that they had become part of the BBC's supposed pro-green agenda!
I don't often agree with what I read on their site, but I do agree with Nick that they do turn up examples of 'sloppy journalism' and 'poor phrasing', rather than evidence of a concerted top-down pre-planned slant on everything the BBC produces.
And, as I've said before, bias is very much in the eye of the beholder.
Currently Spooks is a subject of much vexation. It seems that certain sections of the audience won't believe that Spooks isn't evidence of pro-Islamic bias by the BBC unless every episode ends with our jolly decent uncomplicated chaps getting one over a one-eyed, hook-handed, Pakistan trained jihadist in full-on 'mad mullah' mould.
Personally, if I wanted to see something with spooks in it and the same predictable villain unmasked at the end of each story, I'd stick to watching Scooby Doo
Regular contributor to Biased BBC 'John Reith' gets a mention in Nick's article as well. Nick says he is still trying to work out who is, and that:
"He's an ambassador for the BBC, a real champion. Yet he must feel that if he uses his real name he will get into trouble. It's a terrible indictment of the BBC's culture that someone supporting the organisation so well can't use their real name."
I've often wondered whether John Reith is actually one person, or whether it is a pseudonym adopted by a string of BBC staffers joining in on the site when they de-lurk.
It isn't a surprise of course that Reith uses a pseudonym. I've seen other BBC staff members (or ex-staff members) post on Biased BBC using their real names, only to find themselves immediately Googled and links to their Flickr photos and other personal details posted straight back on the site.
And it is all very well the fluffy Future Media bits of the BBC espousing a culture of engagement and dialogue with the audience, but if the message coming from the top, in the shape of the chair of the BBC Trust, is that BBC staff should not discuss the BBC in public, then you can understand that reluctance to be 'named and shamed' even more.