BBC1 ‘LESS POPULAR AS MAIN SOURCE OF NEWS”: Charlotte Tobitt (Press Gazette 15/8) reported that Ofcom’s annual news consumption survey had found that 75 per cent of respondents chose television news services as their most-used platform for news, ahead of the web (65 percent), radio (42 per cent) and newspapers (35 per cent). She also said that the amount of people using any BBC television channel for news had dropped from 87 per cent in 2018 to 83 percent in the latest survey, and that BBC1 was still the most likely to be someone’s single most important source of news, though this had dropped to 23 per cent of respondents from 27 per cent in 2018. The full Ofcom report is available here.
RADIO 1Xtra ‘PLAYS N-WORD’: Rod Liddle (£ Sunday Times 15/8), commenting on the decision by director general Tony Hall to tighten up racism guidelines after a BBC reporter used the ‘n’-word in an account of a hit and run accident in which the perpetrators had allegedly shouted the word at the victim, said that a survey of the tracks played on the Radio1Xtra channel showed that many of the lyrics contained the word. He declared: “The term that springs to mind in response is ‘double standards’.” Mr Liddle also noted that the BBC had been covering the 75th anniversary of VJ day without taking into account properly that atomic bombs were dropped on HIroshima and Nagasaki – in the context that Japan would not surrender – to avoid 20 times more deaths if the conventional warfare had continued. Mr Liddle said: ‘. . . it rankles when the BBC coverage . . .mentions the how and the what (of the bombs being dropped), but forgets entirely about the why.’
On the same theme, Chris Hastings and Mark Hookham (Mail on Sunday 16/9) claimed that a bitter battle was raging within the BBC ‘between the old guard and the new’ over Lord Hall’s intervention in the ‘n’ word row. The authors claimed the row centred on David Jordan, the BBC’s director of editorial standards, who had decided that BBC reporter Fiona Lamdin’s use of the word had been contextually appropriate under editorial guidelines, and was now ‘attempting to protect the independence of reporters and editors by not bowing to noisy campaign groups and Britain’s mounting cancel culture’. The authors added that sources at the BBC had said Lord Hall’s intervention to overrule Mr Jordan had been triggered after Radio 1Xtra DJ ‘Sideman’ (real name David Whitely) had resigned over the use of the word and the director general feared a wave of further resignations.