Tag Archives: bbc

+++BREAKING NEWS+++ Time for “slow news”?

BBC1 Newsflash logo from black and white TVThere was a time when news of the death of the King took months to percolate through to all parts of the realm. Some villages heard the news when a random horse rider came through after taking a wrong turning. I like to think that some villagers in some instances didn’t hear about the death of the King until his successor had also died, but perhaps that is fanciful.

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No, Newsnight, it’s not ok to talk about us when we aren’t there to defend ourselves

We had some absolutely cracking press coverage this Conference.

In her speech yesterday, Sal Brinton read out a newspaper editorial which said lots of nice things about us:

This Sunday, one paper’s editorial headline was ‘Lib Dems’ revival is a blow to sorry Labour’,

and it then went on to say:

‘fair play to the Lib Dems.

under Leader Tim Farron the party has risen from the ashes of electoral oblivion to reposition itself as the only effective opposition…

The Lib Dems have not only capitalised on the fallout from the EU Referendum but also the disintegration of the Labour Party…

They are speaking up for ordinary voters on issues that really matter, such as the NHS and education.’

The Observer on Polly Toynbee’s day off?

The Independent?

No, this, my friends, is the Sunday Express!

I’m delighted that Tim is at last getting the recognition that he deserves, and I suspect that phrase ‘the only effective opposition’ might appear in a few leaflets and tabloids over the next few months.

Tim got loads of coverage, from Buzzfeed to the Guardian to the Standard in the run-up to Conference, and there has been positive coverage of his speech yesterday, too. George Eaton in the New Statesman says:

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Pressing questions on the iPlayer tax

The BBC has announced that, from September 1st, the “iPlayer loophole” will be closed and access to the BBC’s iPlayer will require payment of the licence fee. Of course, there was never a loophole; the licence fee is meant to apply only to live television broadcasts.

Of course, the blame cannot be put at the BBC’s feet. The BBC has been forced to make severe budget cuts leading to the scaling back of services that cost relatively little such as Radio 6 and BBC Three – services disproportionately used by people aged 18-34, while at the same time having to shoulder £750 million per year for concessionary licences for over 75s: the biggest cost to the BBC after BBC One. Indeed, TV Licensing emphasises the disproportionate effect on students, who increasingly exclusively use on-demand services.

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LISTEN: Great Lives: Millicent Garrett Fawcett

The BBC has made their programme in the Great Lives series on Millicent Garrett Fawcett available free on iPlayer.

Listen to it here.

Lesley Abdela talks to Matthew Parris on Fawcett’s life and achievements and the way she campaigned, rejecting militancy and building up support for a variety of causes so that it eventually became obvious that women should have the vote.

She talks about how, as a teenager, Millicent, her sister and a friend discussed how they were going to break into male dominated areas like medicine and politics.

There’s also the story of her being robbed and when the thief appeared in court, the property he stole was described as that of Fawcett’s husband.

Matthew Parris was pretty rude to Lesley Abdela, telling her that her name sounded like a council estate named by Ken Livingstone. She dealt with that by saying she’d be very pleased for that to happen.

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Liberal Democrats are being excluded from referendum debate – don’t put up with this

We Liberal Democrats are used to not getting our fair share of media attention. Since last year’s general election, that has got even worse. However, we still aren’t getting anything like the coverage we should have based on our size.

Research carried out by the University of Loughborough during the EU referendum campaign shows that we are only being included in 1% of both press and broadcast media. Mind you, the official opposition doesn’t fare that much better, although that has definitely changed in the last few days.

Coverage by party during EU Ref


If you were thinking that there was a gross over-representation of right wing men, the study confirms your instincts.

The debate is highly presidential in character, focussing on key individuals. The top six individuals are all right-of-centre and are all men. Despite concern expressed by left-of-centre and female politicians about media coverage it’s still largely a ‘Tory story’ and a male dominated, ‘blue-on-blue’ tale at that.

So who are the main media performers?

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Ming Campbell talks EU democracy, security, sovereignty in BBC Big Debate

Yesterday, I went to Glasgow to take part in Radio Scotland’s Big Debate as part of the Remain contingent. As they did during the election, the BBC invited a delicately balanced audience.

I almost combusted on the spot when I saw that there was to be an all-male panel. Then I looked at the Leave contingent, all but one of whom were men and only men spoke. The Remain contingent, however, were almost perfectly balanced and it was the women who actually spoke the most during the hour.

It still feels strange to hear Ming Campbell introduced as Lord Campbell of Pittenweem. His partner on the remain side was the very able SNP MEP Alyn Smith. Both of them were very good at making the positive case for the EU and busting a lot of Leave myths. The Leave panellists were Tory Brian Monteith, who lives in France and is a former Conservative MEP. George Laird is from Labour Leave.

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The government’s BBC white paper presents reasonably sensible proposals

The government’s white paper on the BBC (“A BBC for the future: a broadcaster of distinction”) is available to read here. For a white paper, it is attractively presented. It puts forward a range of thoughtful and carefully calibrated proposals for the future.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 25th Oct - 2:39pm
    A very good article , Alex , but I believe many more Liberals and Liberal Democrats are patriotic, I am very , more than most...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 25th Oct - 2:35pm
    Apparently the reason why Belgium's regional and linguistic bodies got a vote on it was because the EU allowed it to be designated as a...
  • User AvatarGareth Wilson 25th Oct - 2:20pm
    We could win this one, I think a trip down south is in order :) Wonder if the Tories will stand a candidate? If they...
  • User AvatarMary Reid 25th Oct - 2:20pm
    Lloyd Harris - the PPC selection process for a possible snap general election validates their candidacy until sometime next year. So there is no need...
  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 25th Oct - 2:20pm
    The party at the moment has a great problem and it's not just how low we are in the polls. It is that the society...
  • User AvatarPaul Pettinger 25th Oct - 1:56pm
    Like the Canadian Liberals have helped forge a Canadian identity, so we should try to define what it is to be British.