Daily Mail accusing BBC of double standards? Come off it… For journalism’s sake

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An article on the Press Gazette‘s website today reported on the Daily Mail‘s criticism of the BBC, after the corporation admitted using private detectives at the Leveson Inquiry.

BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) Centre, London (Photo by Panhard).

BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) Centre, London (Photo by Panhard).

To me this is a rather foolish route to take, as not only does it reek of hypocrisy, it also does nothing to help journalism as a whole.

While obviously newspapers and broadcasters shouldn’t shy away from reporting about Leveson, because that would only breed more distrust in the industry, to resort to ‘infighting’ via editorials seems a bit cannibalistic and self-destructive.

Holding us back

It’s now clear to all that virtually every news organisation has turned to underhand tactics at one time or another, but to continue dragging them up and mudslinging won’t help us move forward.

It will only do the opposite and hold us back.

Clearly the Daily Mail’s agenda against the BBC comes into this issue as well, and the fact the BBC used licence fee payers’ money on PIs adds a different angle too, but continued attacks will only damage journalism’s integrity. This is a time when news organistions should be speaking to one another to try to move the industry forward, not just squabbling about who’s to blame.

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Does the BBC need to change? From the groundbreaking to the overly sensitive

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How do you solve a problem like the BBC? The organisation has, over the years, gone from strength to strength and given us lots of great things.

But, for all the good it does, and all the new ground it’s broken since being created, there are times when it deserves criticism.

Take this weekend’s Grand National for example. The main event in the horseracing calendar is a world famous occasion.

Tragic event

Yet Saturday’s was marred by the death of two horses. This was obviously a tragedy, which needed covering.

Yet the BBC shied away from doing so.

Rightly, it received criticism for that. It may not have seen it as being a very sensitive or politically correct thing to do during the showcase event, but even so, an organisation like the BBC should have covered it in more detail.

Ammunition

It’s times like that which do the broadcaster no favours and give ammunition to critics.

Yet for all the damage it does itself, there are moments of genius.

Take a programme which I watched yesterday, called ‘The Truth about Lions’ (catch on iplayer if you missed it).

Brilliant wildlife shows

It chronicled the rise and fall of the animal in Africa, and was another in a long line of high quality wildlife shows which has been produced by the beeb.

So, what deserves more notice? The times when it makes mistakes, or the times when it blows us away?

It’s a hard one to decide, made more complicated by the fact that we, as viewers, pay the licence fee.

What do you think?

Sadly, it’s an issue which could be discussed in a lot more detail than I can go into here.

But what do you think? Should be more critical of the organisation? Or should we let it be?

Read more of Wordsmith:

Japan earthquake shows importance of rolling news

‘Hypocritical’ Clegg hammered as Sun leads witch hunt

Sun and Mirror get Rooney fever over his ‘Coke’ problems

Sorry MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish

Murdoch’s News of the World hacked phones? So what