August 28, 2003

THE BBC’S CORPORATE CULTURE:

Why is the BBC so reviled at the moment then? It is all simply a matter of envy? No. Everyone knows someone richer than themselves but if that person is polite, friendly or agreeable, it doesn’t bother you.

The problem is that the BBC of today is an incredibly arrogant organisation – and that gets people’s backs up. As the BBC has grown more and more out of touch with the world around it, it has desperately clung to its culture. And that refusal to change has seen it faced with frustration and anger, which in turn has seen it tighten up in indignation.

The National Union of Journalists recently revealed that the BBC was the worst media organisation in the UK for bullying. Numerous examples of blame culture have emerged in recent years. People from outside the organisation have been appalled by the politics and cliques within the BBC. Tales abound of petulant, unpleasant, even sadistic, producers and middle-managers lashing out to disguise their all-too-real fear of discovery.

Comic of the moment Ricky Gervais said on his radio show recently that he was amazed at the number of hopeless executives within the BBC that are highly paid but don’t appear to do anything. “It makes you want to wander up to them and say ‘What do you actually do?’,” he said.

The arrogance extends throughout the organisation. . . . Unfortunately, this has led in many cases to disparate news arms of the BBC using precisely the same contacts each time. The fact that the entirety of the BBC appeared to have only source regarding the Iraq war dossiers is testament to this self-defeating approach.

Not surprising. Read the whole thing, which offers a lot of interesting background on the UK media wars.

UPDATE: This is interesting.