Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tilting At TV Masts and Satellites

The 'challenge' laid down by Alex Salmond over a long-term strategy for broadcasting is an interesting one. But let me say from the outset that seeing 'control of broadcasting handed over to Holyrood' does not auger well for a whole variety of reasons.

First off the idea that government in some why can really exercise a positive influence on the creative, commercial and strategic direction of broadcasting is dubious at best.

The idea that 'people in London' are deliberately failing to nurture Scottish talent is just daft. People go where the money is and even if we have Scottish owned, run and managed networks they simply won't be competing on a level playing field.

The commission proposed by The FM will be chaired by a former BBC Scotland news chief, Blair Jenkins, who has been asked to come up with a strategy for broadcasting in Scotland. Big problem. Mr Jenkins famously fell out with the BBC over staffing cuts and resigned. I admire his stance, but I fear for his impartiality. I had an exchange of emails some time back, when Mr Jenkins was still in his job, over the BBC's coverage of news from the Borders - his answers were evasive and far from helpful.

One last thought. We have the Scottish News on the BBC at 6.30. If there was that much news why isn't it better? It cannot be that the people delivering it and those managing it are that useless, can it? What will we get with a Scottish 6, world news covered by reporters with Scottish accents?

Broadcasting is just like politics. The big guns head south for greater glory and greater reward. It'll never be any different. Shrek is tilting at TV masts and satellites.

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