Nicky Campbell and the spirit of public service broadcasting

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Media & Journalism

So Nicky Campbell, among other big names at the BBC, crossed the picket line during the 24-hour strike  last Monday (1 August). It was, he said, a matter of conscience in the true spirit of public service broadcasting: “I supported the pension strike and I supported this strike last time round [a previous 24-hour strike on 15 July] but ultimately we have a responsibility to the people who pay us”.

Hmm. I presume he means the BBC license payers, which brings a tear to the eye for sure. Why, I tuned into his breakfast programme on Radio 5 Live this morning (3 August) and realized just what was at stake for Nicky. There he was, taking the pulse of the nation on a phenomenon that puts economic hardship, poverty, unemployment and mass redundancies in proper perspective: A UFO sighting. This was riveting, prize winning radio and as always perfectly balanced between a guy who was convinced it was an UFO and some other guy who thought it was a plane.

UFO searches for best BBC Radio 5 Live signal.

So my message to those angry BBC employees who picketed BBC properties on Monday and even caused the cancellation of Newsnight (forsooth!!!) is this: why on earth would we the listeners be at all interested in your jobs or the destruction of the World Service when we’ve got a man of conscience like Nicky Campbell to bring us the latest UFO sightings for a whole hour?*

*Footnote to reader: Well, maybe he did break off the discussion for a few seconds to bring us breaking news from Egypt that Hosni Mubarak has been brought to trial for corruption and the lesser charge of killing protestors. But I’m not going to link you to that story. If you’re that interested, go look for it yourself. I’m off to investigate this UFO before the sky falls in. 

  1. Rab says:

    So, you seriously think that a visit by extra-terrestrial life is less news worthy than a little local difficulty on Earth?

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