BBC News Presenters Set to Strike!

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  • #32743 Reply

    jonn0boy
    Participant
    #32744 Reply

    jonn0boy
    Participant

    Staff at BBC News have voted in favour of striking over changes to their rotas, with a 95% majority.

    The BBC intends to cut back shifts from 12 or 14 hours to 8 or 10 hours, but will not be cutting the total contracted hours, meaning staff will have to work more shifts.

    Bectu would need to give the corporation seven days’ notice before a 12 hour walkout could take place.

    A meeting is expected to go ahead next Monday to agree a strike date.

    #32745 Reply

    James
    Participant

    Its no the presenters that are striking but production staff…

    #32746 Reply

    Forum Member
    Participant

    Pity they can’t all go on strike indefinitely, together with the rest of gravy train BBC employees – then the enforced subsidy they live on ( aka Gov TV licence) can be the stuff of history.

    I watch a TV news recently where there was a debate over the benefits the Iraqis had enjoyed post Saddam and the interviewer said “they can now watch TV of choice without Government interference” well Mr Blair can I now have that option? I refer, if you don’t understand, that I can be put in clink for not buy on of your your TV licences – this our “democratic” UK in 2006 – please wake-up everyone?

    I pay voluntary for Sky and enjoy it – but Sky has never dragged anyone to court for not subscribing to their service – QED

    Mickey

    #32747 Reply

    Lone
    Participant

    mickey wrote:Pity they can’t all go on strike indefinitely, together with the rest of gravy train BBC employees – then the enforced subsidy they live on ( aka Gov TV licence) can be the stuff of history.

    I watch a TV news recently where there was a debate over the benefits the Iraqis had enjoyed post Saddam and the interviewer said “they can now watch TV of choice without Government interference” well Mr Blair can I now have that option? I refer, if you don’t understand, that I can be put in clink for not buy on of your your TV licences – this our “democratic” UK in 2006 – please wake-up everyone?

    I pay voluntary for Sky and enjoy it – but Sky has never dragged anyone to court for not subscribing to their service – QED

    Mickey

    Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and I respect yours. But personally the BBC is the only channel which consistently produces a broad range of programs of a fair to high degree of quality. It certainly produces much better stuff then Sky or ITV could ever dream of producing.

    I realise it has it’s critics, and it has weak areas too, and a lot of it’s prime time programming can be poor (Fame Academy anyone?). But because of the ‘unique way the BBC is funded’ (as Mr Clarkson would put it) the BBC is under pressure to produce programming which covers most (if not all) areas and topics, and to a respectable standard. And this is a pressure which others like Sky simply aren’t under, and this for me is clearly evident in most of their rubbish programming, which is dominated by ad-breaks every 5-minutes.

    [Lone]

    #32748 Reply

    Forum Member
    Participant

    I totally agree with you Lone. I’m not against Public Service Broadcasting and would probably pay for a BBC voluntary subscription package. However at the moment, by force of law, I cannot watch any TV of choice without purchasing a Government Permit! Surely this is against my human rights as I’m deprived of the main source of information? It’s like the Government saying that I can only buy books & magazines if I take out annual subscription for The Times

    I hope you see my point?

    Mickey

    #32749 Reply

    Lone
    Participant

    mickey wrote:I totally agree with you Lone. I’m not against Public Service Broadcasting and would probably pay for a BBC voluntary subscription package. However at the moment, by force of law, I cannot watch any TV of choice without purchasing a Government Permit! Surely this is against my human rights as I’m deprived of the main source of information? It’s like the Government saying that I can only buy books & magazines if I take out annual subscription for The Times

    I hope you see my point?

    Mickey

    I do see you’re point Mickey. Trouble is, if the license fee were taken away, that would mean the BBC would become just another commercial broadcaster, and it’s focus would shift towards attracting as high numbers and high profits, which would no doubt impact on quality of programming.

    I know it sucks, but it’s what we have to put up with if we want (IMHO) some of the best quality of television in the world.

    #32750 Reply

    Forum Member
    Participant

    Thanks for your understanding. I think the acceptable solution requires a complete overhaul of PSB funding – I would suggest a mixture of:

    1. A proportion from central Government taxation. Before everyone starts mentioning Independence for the BBC please consider that the Government gives some ?800K for the BBC World service (this is part of the Foreign & Commonwealth office budget). Also a similar amount of ?750 is provided from taxation to subsidies the over 75?s free TVL.

    2. Voluntary subscription for the people wishing to view specialised “advert free” channels

    3. Sponsorship of some programmes – and again people complaining about interruption of programmes should note that the BBC TV World service already carries both programme sponsorship and advert breaks.. I watched it when working abroad and it didn?t detract from the programme?s continuity.

    4. Give PSB greater freedom to engage in commercail activies. Already the BBC is in advance planning of their Internet services to carry advertisment. At present this is for external consumption only not for UK coverage ( how they can do this I don’t know but I guess it will some sort of .com blocking? But if the model is succesful the next step will be for the Government to permit the UK websites to carry adverts as well. Also teh BBC’s arm which sells books, DVD’s etc is a big money spinner.

    So you can see there are alternatives to the compulsory TVL Tax.

    Mickey

    #32751 Reply

    Lone
    Participant

    mickey wrote:Thanks for your understanding. I think the acceptable solution requires a complete overhaul of PSB funding – I would suggest a mixture of:

    1. A proportion from central Government taxation. Before everyone starts mentioning Independence for the BBC please consider that the Government gives some ?800K for the BBC World service (this is part of the Foreign & Commonwealth office budget). Also a similar amount of ?750 is provided from taxation to subsidies the over 75?s free TVL.

    2. Voluntary subscription for the people wishing to view specialised “advert free” channels

    3. Sponsorship of some programmes – and again people complaining about interruption of programmes should note that the BBC TV World service already carries both programme sponsorship and advert breaks.. I watched it when working abroad and it didn?t detract from the programme?s continuity.

    4. Give PSB greater freedom to engage in commercail activies. Already the BBC is in advance planning of their Internet services to carry advertisment. At present this is for external consumption only not for UK coverage ( how they can do this I don’t know but I guess it will some sort of .com blocking? But if the model is succesful the next step will be for the Government to permit the UK websites to carry adverts as well. Also teh BBC’s arm which sells books, DVD’s etc is a big money spinner.

    So you can see there are alternatives to the compulsory TVL Tax.

    Mickey

    Mickey, the situation for BBC World is very different. It is possible for the BBC’s UK arm to be funded through the license fee, but it’s almost impossible for the BBC’s various worldwide services to survive on public funding, hence the need for BBC outlet’s outisde the UK to air commercials. And international arm of the BBC has come in for a lot of criticism over the years about commercial ties and bias.

    You do have some good ideas there, but I don’t think you realise how quickly commercialism, especially in today’s age, can erode away at a broadcasting organisation such as the BBC. Even today, with the BBC publically funded and heavily regulated, it’s been bowing to popular pressure, as programs such as Fame Academy and most of the Saturday Night schedule prove. If it went commercial there is only one way it would head, and that’s downhill. Perhaps it might be able to retain it’s ways for the short term, perhaps even in the medium term, but in the long term there is little doubt that it will have to succumb to the pressures of gaining higher audience ratings and attracting as much revenue as possible, this is inevitable because this is the way of the capitalist free market. Simple as.

    We either keep the BBC we have today, and lost it in exchange for another ITV.

    #32752 Reply

    Forum Member
    Participant

    The whole broadcasting scene is undergoing an evolutionary change. No one could have predicted the rapid take-off of satellite and broadband TV. The BBC is fully aware that these additional forms of communications are eroding its traditional customer base. Already viewing percentages for other channels has overtaken the BBC so no longer can they claim to be the most popular service of choice. The split according to BARB: http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/weekr…uesttimeout=500

    Is:

    All BBC = 30.36%
    All Terrestrial Commercial = 33.2%
    All others = 36.2%

    Also the BBC?s share is declining annually by about 1.5%

    The BBC know the writing is on the wall and are making plans for their survival if and when the TVL is abolished. Soon the Government will announce the new BBC charter and there are indications that this will only be for 5 years with a below inflation annual increase.

    #32753 Reply

    Lone
    Participant

    mickey wrote:The whole broadcasting scene is undergoing an evolutionary change. No one could have predicted the rapid take-off of satellite and broadband TV. The BBC is fully aware that these additional forms of communications are eroding its traditional customer base. Already viewing percentages for other channels has overtaken the BBC so no longer can they claim to be the most popular service of choice. The split according to BARB: http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/weekr…uesttimeout=500

    Is:

    All BBC = 30.36%
    All Terrestrial Commercial = 33.2%
    All others = 36.2%

    Also the BBC?s share is declining annually by about 1.5%

    The BBC know the writing is on the wall and are making plans for their survival if and when the TVL is abolished. Soon the Government will announce the new BBC charter and there are indications that this will only be for 5 years with a below inflation annual increase.

    Mickey, as I understand it, those figures are comparing the BBC against pretty much everything non-BBC, a sort of BBC vs everyone else. That’s not a very comparison IMO, no single channel can compete with rivals that number in their hundreds (if you have Sky Digital Family package like I do). The fact that it can actually generate viewing figures by itself which compares to all it’s other terrestial rivals is actually quite impressive.

    You’re right that the face of broadcasting is changing, but I don’t think it’s anything that has taken everyone by surprise. And maybe I’m in a minority thinking this, but personally I think that the future of television isn’t actually looking that good, perhaps it’s true to say that quality has declined over the years and it is being replaced more by quantity. Perhaps this is an inevitability, though I do hope the BBC retains it’s ability to produce quality programming for some time to come.

    #32754 Reply

    Forum Member
    Participant

    I remember the days when the BBC had 100% audience – but then they were the only ones Broadcasting ? no ITV, Ch 4 nothing else.

    Also I recall seeing a BBC evening news prog, over 10 years ago, when they showed a clip of the first-day inauguration of a Sky News bulletin. The BBC presenters were sneering at it and dismissing it as a flash in the pan. How wrong there were! Sky News regularly wins National & International awards for the quality of it?s news reporting & presenters. In many instances, particularly during wars, Sky News has been the first choice of our Armed services.

    How much has changed since those early days. I very rarely now watch any BBC programmes. BSkyB has all I need, from a selection of News channels to Pop music, Classical music/Arts, Documentaries ( Discovery, National Geographic, Science, Wings etc) that I wouldn?t miss the BBC.

    So I come back to where I started on alternative ways of funding the BBC. Which, if adopted, would cater for your needs of advert free channels and still be able to provide serious in-depth documentaries & reports on World affairs.

    Leave the: soaps, make-overs, game shows, pop culture, etc to the commercial boys.

    Mickey

    #32755 Reply

    Lone
    Participant

    mickey wrote:I remember the days when the BBC had 100% audience – but then they were the only ones Broadcasting ? no ITV, Ch 4 nothing else.

    Also I recall seeing a BBC evening news prog, over 10 years ago, when they showed a clip of the first-day inauguration of a Sky News bulletin. The BBC presenters were sneering at it and dismissing it as a flash in the pan. How wrong there were! Sky News regularly wins National & International awards for the quality of it?s news reporting & presenters. In many instances, particularly during wars, Sky News has been the first choice of our Armed services.

    How much has changed since those early days. I very rarely now watch any BBC programmes. BSkyB has all I need, from a selection of News channels to Pop music, Classical music/Arts, Documentaries ( Discovery, National Geographic, Science, Wings etc) that I wouldn?t miss the BBC.

    So I come back to where I started on alternative ways of funding the BBC. Which, if adopted, would cater for your needs of advert free channels and still be able to provide serious in-depth documentaries & reports on World affairs.

    Leave the: soaps, make-overs, game shows, pop culture, etc to the commercial boys.

    Mickey

    Mickey, I respect you’re views, but this is clearly something we have widely differing views on. I personally believe Rupert Murdoch and BSkyB are one of the worst things to happen to TV and media in general, I am more then wary of anything that has anything to do with his accursed hand. Not that the BBC is that much better, far from it, but if it came down to a choice, I would certainly pick the beeb over Murdoch anyday.

    #32756 Reply

    Forum Member
    Participant

    Hi Lone – I think we have said it all. Like you I’m not against the BBC. But it has to be paid for!

    If Murdoch has done one thing it’s to have open our minds to an alternative World.

    Remember “freely” available communications & information sources are the bulwarks of democracy, that we need to support & strengthen. To give Governments and singular organisations the power to decide what we digest is a very dangerous path to tread.

    Mickey

    #32757 Reply

    Lone
    Participant

    mickey wrote:Hi Lone – I think we have said it all. Like you I’m not against the BBC. But it has to be paid for!

    If Murdoch has done one thing it’s to have open our minds to an alternative World.

    Remember “freely” available communications & information sources are the bulwarks of democracy, that we need to support & strengthen. To give Governments and singular organisations the power to decide what we digest is a very dangerous path to tread.

    Mickey

    Hey Mickey, I have to be honest and say I strongly disagree with you. You’re right that it’s dangerous to let our governments influence the media through state influenced broadcasters. But IMHO giving a man like Murdoch the power to weild so much influence over not just our societies, but many others around the world is even more dangerous.

    I personally believe Murdoch has done little, if no good whatsoever for us. He hasn’t opened our minds, merely locked some of us down into seeing the world his way. And remember that before Sky we still had choices in the form of our terrestrial channels, and in anycase, the capitalist market is such that even if Sky wasn’t there to offer an alternative, someone us would definitely have stepped in to fill the gap.

    #32758 Reply

    Forum Member
    Participant

    I must still agree with you again Lone. You have good counter arguments but please consider where you are leading.

    Fore instance you say that ? a man like Murdoch the power to weald so much influence? Well considered how it was, and still is, in the newspaper media? Historically there was Lord Beaverbrook of the Express, a Canadian, who not only owned the paper but also was a wartime Government Minister. Then we have a list of proprietors who run: the Telegraph, Mirror, Mail etc. Each has their own political leanings.

    The trouble with Television has been the continued existence of an over-bloated, cash rich, organisation that has stifled competition for decades. You only have to notice what is going wrong with ITV. Where, in a competitive world, they cannot keep-up with the inlation proof,high production budgets, fees & salaries the BBC is throwing around. They are on the brink of going bust and being taken-over by NTL. No businessman in his right mind would consider starting a brand new TV media organisation, in the present UK broadcasting climate, to fill the gap.

    At last the Government has recognised the damage that the BBC is causing. Because reports, leaked to the media, indicate that they are about to announce a capping of the BBC?s finances. With a below inflation annual increase -coupled with only a 4 year validated.

    The end is nigh for the profligate ways of the BBC and they know it.

    Mickey

    #32759 Reply

    Lone
    Participant

    mickey wrote:I must still agree with you again Lone. You have good counter arguments but please consider where you are leading.

    Fore instance you say that ? a man like Murdoch the power to weald so much influence? Well considered how it was, and still is, in the newspaper media? Historically there was Lord Beaverbrook of the Express, a Canadian, who not only owned the paper but also was a wartime Government Minister. Then we have a list of proprietors who run: the Telegraph, Mirror, Mail etc. Each has their own political leanings.

    The trouble with Television has been the continued existence of an over-bloated, cash rich, organisation that has stifled competition for decades. You only have to notice what is going wrong with ITV. Where, in a competitive world, they cannot keep-up with the inlation proof,high production budgets, fees & salaries the BBC is throwing around. They are on the brink of going bust and being taken-over by NTL. No businessman in his right mind would consider starting a brand new TV media organisation, in the present UK broadcasting climate, to fill the gap.

    At last the Government has recognised the damage that the BBC is causing. Because reports, leaked to the media, indicate that they are about to announce a capping of the BBC?s finances. With a below inflation annual increase -coupled with only a 4 year validated.

    The end is nigh for the profligate ways of the BBC and they know it.

    Mickey

    Mickey, you are right in saying that there have always been men throughout history who have weilded significant influence through their media outlets. But that does that make it OK for them to have that power, and that we should ignore them and not questions their actions and motives? No, I don’t believe so.

    With regards to ITV, they only have themselves to blame for their demise. I’m glad you brought ITV up because it highlights my point well. Yes BBC (more specifically BBC One) has been guilty of stooping to ITV’s level with some of it’s Saturday night programming, but for the most part the BBC has been forced to produce programming which is of decent quality, whereas ITV have throw all their money at Celebrity X-Factor Love Island, Get Me Out Of Here, or whatever else their stupid execs come up with. For me, there is no question here, ITV has been consistently producing crap for years in it’s constant chase for viewer figures. Thank goodness we have regulators that give the beeb a good kick up the backside to ensure they concentrate on producing diverse programming to cater for all our needs.

    #32760 Reply

    Forum Member
    Participant

    Lone, please go back to my earlier reply where I stated that I?m not against Public Service Broadcasting (PSB). It is for the very reasons you describe i.e quote ?producing diverse programming to cater for all our needs? that I support PBS. No one will disagree with that philosophy.. But how to pay for it and by how much?

    PSB needs to be able to concentrate on what it does best ie news, current affairs, drama, arts etc. and to do this without a ratings war to worry about. The commercial boys can do what they want to run their business. However, regulators will need to control the amount of funds PSB receives and how it spends our money. With the present arrangement where-by one party is getting a guaranteed an inflation busting income can only distort the market place and drive others to the wall. Lets? have a level playing field without the compulsory Government Licence to legally receive news & entertainment from any source.

    If ITV goes and in your utopian world Murdoch departs & pulls the plug what?s left? Foreign Satellite TV: Fox News, CNN, Al Jazeera International (in English soon) , NBC etc

    Mickey

    #32761 Reply

    Forum Member
    Participant

    Just one other thing is that the Government has a vested interest in maintaining PSB in some form or other so they can have a direct outlet.

    #32762 Reply

    irxin
    Participant

    Everyone in the UK is not only forced by law to contribute ?2.6 billion by way of the licence fee but an additional ?.75 Billion direct from normal taxation to fund the BBC.

    Of their own free will they pay BSkyB ?4.2 Billion, my proportions are roughly similar to the average but my viewing is 5% BBC and 95% Sky provided.

    The only ?service? I use from the BBC that is not available commercially is Radio 4, and the BBC news site, which is very wide ranking because of their bottomless pockets.

    The BBC expenditure really does need sorting out, they have had years to brainwash the nation (The Beeb would insist on ?nations?) into thinking they are a necessity ? They are not.

    I have an opinion on all of their output but a couple of examples ? They would have more viewers and more money for programs if BBC 3 and 4 were just used as timeshifts for the two main channels. On radio why do they generate so many music channels, there are at least a hundred commercial ones?

    As this is a news forum Sky has no requirement to provide a news service but gives by far the best, and balanced, service for free.

    I also noticed earlier somebody raised the evil Murdoch, another example of Beeb brainwashing ? News International own less than a third of BSkyB and in turn the Murdoch family own less than a third of News International. I make it that Murdoch owns around 9% of Sky but obviously, the shareholders are happy that he has a say in the running because he is a successful profit maker.

    #32763 Reply

    irxin
    Participant

    Mickey mentioned Al Jezeera coming shortly, which may not be as bad as you think. I often look at their Web site and they actually give a more balanced view of the world than the Beeb.

    #32764 Reply

    Forum Member
    Participant

    Hi irxin – well said and great to see someone else, of like mind contributing, to the debate.

    Regarding other Sat TV stations coming on stream – I just say – “The more the better” we don’t have to watch them. But if they add an alternative view of things then that only strengthens our democracy. Is this something the BBC is afraid of?

    Mickey

    #32765 Reply

    irxin
    Participant

    Agreed, Have you noticed that the ‘evil murdoch’ uses the CBS feed for their 00:30 feed.

    This is presumably to give a better service to Sky News not the free one he could have provided by giving Fox news. Even Fox is no where near as bad as the Beeboids would have us believe although I do not like their over reliance on opinion rather than fact.

    #32766 Reply

    Lone
    Participant

    mickey wrote:Lone, please go back to my earlier reply where I stated that I?m not against Public Service Broadcasting (PSB). It is for the very reasons you describe i.e quote ?producing diverse programming to cater for all our needs? that I support PBS. No one will disagree with that philosophy.. But how to pay for it and by how much?

    PSB needs to be able to concentrate on what it does best ie news, current affairs, drama, arts etc. and to do this without a ratings war to worry about. The commercial boys can do what they want to run their business. However, regulators will need to control the amount of funds PSB receives and how it spends our money. With the present arrangement where-by one party is getting a guaranteed an inflation busting income can only distort the market place and drive others to the wall. Lets? have a level playing field without the compulsory Government Licence to legally receive news & entertainment from any source.

    If ITV goes and in your utopian world Murdoch departs & pulls the plug what?s left? Foreign Satellite TV: Fox News, CNN, Al Jazeera International (in English soon) , NBC etc

    Mickey

    Mickey, I am actually in complete agreement with you that the BBC needs to pull back from it’s constant ratings war with ITV and the others, and concentrate more on the science/nature/topical programming, even though it may perhaps mean the end of my beloved Top Gear. If what you are suggesting is that we cut back it’s funding so that it concentrates on these niches, perhaps we have come to an agreement.

    With regards to what’ll happen if ITV and Murdoch pulls out, remember they are not the be all and end all of broadcasting in the UK, as I’ve mentioned efore such is the nature of capitalism that someone will almost certainly step in to fill the market.

    #32767 Reply

    Lone
    Participant

    irxin wrote:Everyone in the UK is not only forced by law to contribute ?2.6 billion by way of the licence fee but an additional ?.75 Billion direct from normal taxation to fund the BBC.

    Of their own free will they pay BSkyB ?4.2 Billion, my proportions are roughly similar to the average but my viewing is 5% BBC and 95% Sky provided.

    The only ?service? I use from the BBC that is not available commercially is Radio 4, and the BBC news site, which is very wide ranking because of their bottomless pockets.

    The BBC expenditure really does need sorting out, they have had years to brainwash the nation (The Beeb would insist on ?nations?) into thinking they are a necessity ? They are not.

    I have an opinion on all of their output but a couple of examples ? They would have more viewers and more money for programs if BBC 3 and 4 were just used as timeshifts for the two main channels. On radio why do they generate so many music channels, there are at least a hundred commercial ones?

    As this is a news forum Sky has no requirement to provide a news service but gives by far the best, and balanced, service for free.

    I also noticed earlier somebody raised the evil Murdoch, another example of Beeb brainwashing ? News International own less than a third of BSkyB and in turn the Murdoch family own less than a third of News International. I make it that Murdoch owns around 9% of Sky but obviously, the shareholders are happy that he has a say in the running because he is a successful profit maker.

    Irxin, with regards to Al-Jazeera, I am really looking forward to them coming to our screens, not only to provide a different perspective on stories that Sky and BBC provide, but also because a number of my favourite personalities, such as Rageh Omar and Felicity Barr, have joined the channel.

    Ultimately I don’t trust neither the BBC nor Sky, but if it comes down to a choice (and it often does because they are the main two providers of UK news), I have to go with the BBC. For me Sky’s bias is undeniable, it is anything but fair and balanced, just look at it’s sister network Fox (a complete joke IMO) and it’s cousins The Sun and The Times, all part of the Murdoch family, of which his influence simply cannot be ignored. He runs Sky and his news empire like a dictator rules his country.

    Anyone who believes he is fair minded and balanced should really be concerned whether or not they have willingly or unwillingly been brainwashed into the Murdoch media.

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