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In the thick of it.

rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,101 Lives Here
edited May 2012 in Commuting chat
Want to know what conversations the PM's head of communications has with journalists?

take a look

Posts

  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 41,791
    Fail - 'This video has been removed by the user'
    Whippet
    Bruiser
    Panzer
    Commuter

    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,101 Lives Here
    Ah, the Beeb has removed it.

    Twitter is now busy moaning how it's a shame it's gone.
  • davieseedaviesee Posts: 6,473
    Ah, the Beeb has removed it.

    Twitter is now busy moaning how it's a shame it's gone.
    The BEEB bowing to political pressure then?

    The guy looked a right knob but I guess he got his way on this one.
    None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,101 Lives Here
    daviesee wrote:
    Ah, the Beeb has removed it.

    Twitter is now busy moaning how it's a shame it's gone.
    The BEEB bowing to political pressure then?

    The guy looked a right knob but I guess he got his way on this one.

    I would imagine removing that video will mean it will forever be on the internet somewhere.

    You'd have to imagine the b*llocking the Beeb got for it. Leaving the cameras rolling and the mic on when having an obviously 'private' discussion between the broadcaster journo and the head of coms.

    Suddenly Malcolm Tucker has popped up in my head.
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    Can you give some more info about the video? I'm sure there will be a mirror of it somewhere.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,101 Lives Here
    notsoblue wrote:
    Can you give some more info about the video? I'm sure there will be a mirror of it somewhere.

    Head of Comms guy was basically taking issue with the way the BBC News Channel covered the Jeremy Hunt story, accusing them of bias. The BBC guy defends his position, and the Comms guy defends his. They get pretty detailed, but it's very clear the Beeb guy feels he has to justify and defend his case like some kind of lawyer would.

    The comms guy also has a coughing fit, which twitter seems more excited about.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,101 Lives Here
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    notsoblue wrote:
    Can you give some more info about the video? I'm sure there will be a mirror of it somewhere.

    Head of Comms guy was basically taking issue with the way the BBC News Channel covered the Jeremy Hunt story, accusing them of bias. The BBC guy defends his position, and the Comms guy defends his. They get pretty detailed, but it's very clear the Beeb guy feels he has to justify and defend his case like some kind of lawyer would.

    The comms guy also has a coughing fit, which twitter seems more excited about.

    I wonder, is it possible to cover this story without any bias? I think that even if you drily present the facts, Hunt and Cameron don't come out of it very well.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,101 Lives Here
    notsoblue wrote:
    notsoblue wrote:
    Can you give some more info about the video? I'm sure there will be a mirror of it somewhere.

    Head of Comms guy was basically taking issue with the way the BBC News Channel covered the Jeremy Hunt story, accusing them of bias. The BBC guy defends his position, and the Comms guy defends his. They get pretty detailed, but it's very clear the Beeb guy feels he has to justify and defend his case like some kind of lawyer would.

    The comms guy also has a coughing fit, which twitter seems more excited about.

    I wonder, is it possible to cover this story without any bias? I think that even if you drily present the facts, Hunt and Cameron don't come out of it very well.


    Well twitter and the guidofaulks blog which released the video have been talking about the head comms guy 'bullying', which doesn't wash with me. For sure, the comms guy is obviously not pleased with what the beeb has done and has a greivence, and the beeb guy is defending himself.

    For me, it's more about the relationship these guys have, and how they actually interact.

    You're right in the sense that ultimately, the bbc journo is defending his position to associate the PM with a political scandal (though in reality it's a little more nuanced than that) within the gov't, so as much as it can be boiled down into pro gov't / anti gov't it can be boiled down into bias either way, but the interest is the behaviour between the two.
  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    What's interesting is that Craig used to work for the BBC, and his wife still does, I think (the newsreader Joanna Gosling). I used to work with him up to just over a year ago, and the day he got the job was one of the biggest WTF moments I've ever seen in a newsroom. It's not often a clutch of journos can be stunned into silence, but that day is one I'll always remember. He's actually a really funny, nice guy (as much as a journalist can be, obviously). BBC News staff really push on being impartial - in staff surveys that comes across more than salaries, pensions whatever, and Craig knows that as much as anybody else. Will be interesting to see how far this goes internally.
    Commute: Chadderton - Sportcity
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    the interest is the behaviour between the two.
    For sure. But its not really a surprise is it?

    I think its a problem that someone like Oliver can accuse an organisation like the BBC of having an "anti-gov" bias by simply reporting facts. I suppose theres a question of how you select the facts and present them, but this is a pretty clear cut case. If Oliver had his way, then the BBC would have a clear "pro-gov" stance which would be far more biased than the one it is taking now.

    Oliver is just doing his job, but instances like this really highlight to me how much the BBC really has to defend its position whenever the issue of bias and objectivity is raised. I think this is a good thing.

    On another note, I personally think BBC News is the most objective and unbiased news source I've encountered. But I'm not sure if this is just because I often agree with how it covers the news.
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    msmancunia wrote:
    BBC News staff really push on being impartial - in staff surveys that comes across more than salaries, pensions whatever, and Craig knows that as much as anybody else.
    Thats really interesting. Can you comment on to what degree you think BBC News staff can be truly impartial?
  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    notsoblue wrote:
    msmancunia wrote:
    BBC News staff really push on being impartial - in staff surveys that comes across more than salaries, pensions whatever, and Craig knows that as much as anybody else.
    Thats really interesting. Can you comment on to what degree you think BBC News staff can be truly impartial?

    Well, the first step is self-moderation - editorial standards are literally drummed into almost every member of staff (I had to sit through a four hour session last year and I'm only a PA). Production and editorial staff have to question every single thing that is going to be broadcast. Reports and rumours have to be corroborated and confirmed before they are even aired. There's also peer moderation - you'll be pulled by your editor or producer if they don't think that you're impartial. They take complaints very seriously - ever single complaint is put on a log and looked into. Finally, it will go to the BBC Trust, who meet very regularly to go through complaints and lack of impartiality. It still happens - the last big one I can remember is Jeremy Bowen being pulled on a piece about Israel/Palestine, and that was upheld by the Trust. It doesn't matter who you are; John Simpson, a regional news journo, or a stringer in Pakistan, if you're biased, then you'll get told about it.

    So in answer to your question, I think that we do the best that we can do, although we do trip up occasionally. BBC staff on the whole are really really proud of working there, and of the reputation it has as a news organisation. We don't want to be the one that sullies that reputation, because of the lack of respect we'll get both inside and outside of work. Impartiality is the biggie.
    Commute: Chadderton - Sportcity
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    Cool, thats an interesting insight. Thanks for posting.
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    msmancunia wrote:
    ...editorial standards are literally drummed into almost every member of staff...

    A very interesting insight into the inner workings of BBC News. Thanks for that.

    However, I literally explode with rage when people say or write literally when they mean figuratively.
    Uh-oh, I've just seen what I've done......





    Maybe I can defuse myself.......






    Doesn't look like it.....


    3




    2





    1




    Bang!
    A poor Ed Byrne joke from Friday's News Quiz paraphrased poorly by me to make a pedantic point.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    Haha I always get objectively and subjectively mixed up. So I just don't use them.

    In other news, a new series of The Thick of It is currently being filmed, which has made my year. I *heart* Malcolm Tucker. And yes, I so would.
    Commute: Chadderton - Sportcity
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    I'm terrible with affect and effect. I try to not let it, err, bother me.

    I'm guessing (with absolutely nothing to base my supposition on) that you're a wee young lass, but have you ever watched Yes, Minister or Yes, Prime Minister?
    Great political comedy and still quite relevant.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    Ah, not that young - I'm just about old enough to remember them. My uncle is still a huge fan and watches them all the time. He's even got audio versions for when he's doing the dishes...
    Commute: Chadderton - Sportcity
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    I'm guessing (with absolutely nothing to base my supposition on) that you're a wee young lass, but have you ever watched Yes, Minister or Yes, Prime Minister?
    msmancunia wrote:
    Ah, not that young - I'm just about old enough to remember them.


    I'm guessing we're about the same age, 21ish (what a gent I am).
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,798 Lives Here
    That is interesting MSM. I think it was when Andrew Marr was at the Leveson enquiry he said he found it very hard when he started at the BBC as every story has to be corroborated however reliable the source. Whereas newspapers were happy with a bloke told me... (much like Boris).
  • Canny JockCanny Jock Posts: 1,051
    msmancunia wrote:
    notsoblue wrote:
    msmancunia wrote:
    BBC News staff really push on being impartial - in staff surveys that comes across more than salaries, pensions whatever, and Craig knows that as much as anybody else.
    Thats really interesting. Can you comment on to what degree you think BBC News staff can be truly impartial?

    Well, the first step is self-moderation - editorial standards are literally drummed into almost every member of staff (I had to sit through a four hour session last year and I'm only a PA). Production and editorial staff have to question every single thing that is going to be broadcast. Reports and rumours have to be corroborated and confirmed before they are even aired. There's also peer moderation - you'll be pulled by your editor or producer if they don't think that you're impartial. They take complaints very seriously - ever single complaint is put on a log and looked into. Finally, it will go to the BBC Trust, who meet very regularly to go through complaints and lack of impartiality. It still happens - the last big one I can remember is Jeremy Bowen being pulled on a piece about Israel/Palestine, and that was upheld by the Trust. It doesn't matter who you are; John Simpson, a regional news journo, or a stringer in Pakistan, if you're biased, then you'll get told about it.

    So in answer to your question, I think that we do the best that we can do, although we do trip up occasionally. BBC staff on the whole are really really proud of working there, and of the reputation it has as a news organisation. We don't want to be the one that sullies that reputation, because of the lack of respect we'll get both inside and outside of work. Impartiality is the biggie.

    I'm a big fan of the Beeb, and I think this explains why beautifully. It also highlights why it's important to protect it from the threat of less partial organisations (like Sky).

    I also can't wait for the next series of The Thick Of It, some of the best swearing I've ever heard.
  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    There is one instance that illustrates it better than any I think. I used to work at the World Service, which isn't funded by the licence fee (although this will change in the next couple of years) - it's funded by the FCO as grant-in-aid as it's seen as a great tool for soft diplomacy. Because of this we were subject to the same comprehensive spending review as the rest of the public sector and WS was bracing itself for massive cuts. WS had a huge consultation period - all staff, and I mean ALL staff had to take part. We were given a series of scenarios - if you had X money and Y services, what would you do? Cut language services in poor countries? Cut them in countries which had several incumbent broadcasters? Sacrifice the poor countries with no impartial broadcaster for the sake of a bigger audience elsewhere? The one theme that came through stronger than anything else was impartiality.

    A lot of news and WS language service staff come from countries where the regimes are seriously dodgy, e.g Burma, China etc and understand better than anyone about the need for an accurate, unbiased service. The Afghan version of Women's Hour is listened to by 40m people a week - nearly half of them blokes.

    There are some things about the BBC I can't stand - a huge amount of red tape, Exec Board salaries, censored Saturday night telly, reruns of Homes under the Hammer all frigging day etc, but that one thing made me realise that I work with really decent, intelligent people, who care about what's going on in the world, and want to make sure that everyone can source a decent, honest provider of news. Knowledge is power, after all.

    And yes, the swearing is the best thing about the Thick of It. They even have a swear Tsar apparently. Now that's a job I'd love to do. Maybe I should see if I can get a secondment?!
    Commute: Chadderton - Sportcity
  • Canny JockCanny Jock Posts: 1,051
    The swearing is nearly up there with lfgss, which is high praise indeed.

    There is a good interview with Armando Ianucci by Stephen Fry where he talks about the trade off in swear words - 1 c*** is worth 10 f***s or something along those lines.
  • Cleat EastwoodCleat Eastwood Posts: 8,191
    knowledge is indeed power - which is why a propaganda machine like the bbc isn't averse to muddying the waters

    http://www.rt.com/news/bbc-iraq-syria-houla-400/
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 18,003
    The clip was actually on the late evening news tonight, so I guess the BBC are standing by it with some force.

    Thanks for the insight into working for Auntie, MSM.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    knowledge is indeed power - which is why a propaganda machine like the bbc isn't averse to muddying the waters

    http://www.rt.com/news/bbc-iraq-syria-houla-400/

    That is careless - some picture editor will be having a strip torn off him at some point in the near future.

    The last comment in that article is a bit worrying - "the BBC is run by Jews"?! 1) incredibly racist and 2) incorrect - the BBC is actually run by a big gang of catholics. When I first started and admitted to my (catholic) boss that I was also of the left-footed variety, he said, tongue in cheek, "Welcome to the BBC chapter of Opus Dei"
    Commute: Chadderton - Sportcity
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,101 Lives Here
    msmancunia wrote:
    knowledge is indeed power - which is why a propaganda machine like the bbc isn't averse to muddying the waters

    http://www.rt.com/news/bbc-iraq-syria-houla-400/

    That is careless - some picture editor will be having a strip torn off him at some point in the near future.

    The last comment in that article is a bit worrying - "the BBC is run by Jews"?! 1) incredibly racist and 2) incorrect - the BBC is actually run by a big gang of catholics. When I first started and admitted to my (catholic) boss that I was also of the left-footed variety, he said, tongue in cheek, "Welcome to the BBC chapter of Opus Dei"

    My girlfriend works in PR so she sees the other side of some of the Beeb journos. Won't name names for her sake, but they can get pretty ugly and nasty.
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    msmancunia wrote:
    knowledge is indeed power - which is why a propaganda machine like the bbc isn't averse to muddying the waters

    http://www.rt.com/news/bbc-iraq-syria-houla-400/

    That is careless - some picture editor will be having a strip torn off him at some point in the near future.

    The last comment in that article is a bit worrying - "the BBC is run by Jews"?! 1) incredibly racist and 2) incorrect - the BBC is actually run by a big gang of catholics. When I first started and admitted to my (catholic) boss that I was also of the left-footed variety, he said, tongue in cheek, "Welcome to the BBC chapter of Opus Dei"

    My girlfriend works in PR so she sees the other side of some of the Beeb journos. Won't name names for her sake, but they can get pretty ugly and nasty.
    POIDH

    Reading the comments on the RT link, I've learnt that David Cameron, our President, is also Jewish, that the BBC is now "fully run by colonial maneaters" and that "Russia will once again defeat Zio-Nazis of America, Israel, UK and France to save the world." amongst other fascinating insights.

    Gotta love the comments section.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    msmancunia wrote:
    knowledge is indeed power - which is why a propaganda machine like the bbc isn't averse to muddying the waters

    http://www.rt.com/news/bbc-iraq-syria-houla-400/

    That is careless - some picture editor will be having a strip torn off him at some point in the near future.

    The last comment in that article is a bit worrying - "the BBC is run by Jews"?! 1) incredibly racist and 2) incorrect - the BBC is actually run by a big gang of catholics. When I first started and admitted to my (catholic) boss that I was also of the left-footed variety, he said, tongue in cheek, "Welcome to the BBC chapter of Opus Dei"

    My girlfriend works in PR so she sees the other side of some of the Beeb journos. Won't name names for her sake, but they can get pretty ugly and nasty.

    I don't doubt it - one of the downsides of working in broadcasting is that it attracts more than its fair share of egos. Before the Beeb I used to work in elite sport, and Olympic athletes are a doddle compared with some of our staff. Tends to be the men more than the women - I heard from another PA about a huge row between two very senior and high profile foreign correspondents about who was going to interview Gaddafi.
    Commute: Chadderton - Sportcity
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,101 Lives Here
    msmancunia wrote:
    msmancunia wrote:
    knowledge is indeed power - which is why a propaganda machine like the bbc isn't averse to muddying the waters

    http://www.rt.com/news/bbc-iraq-syria-houla-400/

    That is careless - some picture editor will be having a strip torn off him at some point in the near future.

    The last comment in that article is a bit worrying - "the BBC is run by Jews"?! 1) incredibly racist and 2) incorrect - the BBC is actually run by a big gang of catholics. When I first started and admitted to my (catholic) boss that I was also of the left-footed variety, he said, tongue in cheek, "Welcome to the BBC chapter of Opus Dei"

    My girlfriend works in PR so she sees the other side of some of the Beeb journos. Won't name names for her sake, but they can get pretty ugly and nasty.

    I don't doubt it - one of the downsides of working in broadcasting is that it attracts more than its fair share of egos. Before the Beeb I used to work in elite sport, and Olympic athletes are a doddle compared with some of our staff. Tends to be the men more than the women - I heard from another PA about a huge row between two very senior and high profile foreign correspondents about who was going to interview Gaddafi.

    It's when they start saying things like "do you know who I am" (apparently very common) and "I will make sure I tell every other journalist not to work with you" when they don't get what they want that I begin to think they're barely better than some of the tabloids.

    It's certainly eye opening.
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