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.


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?

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Today’s paper roundup: Jeremy Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and Northern Ireland bomb in Libya link

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Forget the crisis in Libya. Jeremy Clarkson’s apparent affair is obviously much more important.

At least that’s what today’s Daily Mirror believes.

 Their front-page story is an “exclusive” (always be wary about that word) about the Top Gear presenter with a “secret lover.”


Clearly tabloids thrive on celebrity news, but today they really seem to have gone overboard. “Clarkson’s mistress” adorns page one, while two and three are taken up by Charlie Sheen’s latest antics.

 Pages four and five then give us another double dose about the BBC star before we get to any serious news on page six.

Don’t get me wrong, I like celeb rubbish as much as the next person, but with such serious things happening elsewhere this does seem a little extreme.

Luckily The Daily Telegraph gives us a sense of reality. Their splash about Gaddafi reports on how he could soon stand down after a “growing realisation” strikes the Libyan leader.

The second main story is also very interesting, regarding the death of police officer Ronan Kerr in Northern Ireland. It claims the bomb which killed him could have been “supplied to the IRA” by Libya.


 It’s very strange to think these two stories, seemingly completely unrelated on the face of it, may actually be linked.

However, even The Telegraph can’t resist a bit of royal dabbling, with Camilla and Prince Charles the main picture on the front-page. Everyone loves a bit of royal news…don’t they?

The Times runs with a worrying story for the Tory leader David Cameron about his NHS reforms, with the PM being accused of having “lost control”.

The paper clearly sees the issue as a significant one for the government, using emotive phrases like as he “scrambles to prevent the coalition from splitting” to portray Cameron’s dilemma.

 Interestingly, the paper also runs with a comment piece on the front-page about Gaddafi.

 This is certainly something which you don’t see often, which reflects the scale of the crisis.

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Matt Baker: David Cameron’s nemesis

BBC’s Matt Baker: David Cameron’s new nemesis

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When David Cameron appeared on BBC entertainment programme “The One Show” nobody expected him to get much of a grilling.

However, one of the presenters had other ideas. Matt Baker, of Blue Peter and Strictly Come Dancing fame, asked the question many of us wanted to.

As the show was coming to an end and the credits were about to role, Baker asked the PM “how do you sleep at night?”

At first I, as I’m sure many people did, thought he was asking Cameron how he was able to get away from it all and relax.

But, as the dust settled, it was clear that was not the case. The gasp from his co-presenter Alex Jones really gave it away.


Baker had gone off script at the very last minute and stung Cameron with the improvised question.

The Prime Minister, probably surprised by the Paxman-esque hammer blow, stumbled through to the end.


In one of the strangest television moments I have ever seen, the cuddly primetime show had bared its teeth.

Cue lots of surprised commentators and a Youtube explosion as the video went viral. I for one am pleased by the moment though.

It was unexpected, entertaining and democratic, all in one swift movement. Well done Matt Baker.

That one question was probably worth the licence fee alone.

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