YouTube Meets The X Factor
"Every few months the senior executives at BBC and Channel
4 and ITV leave to take up similar jobs at a rival channel,
where they immediately sack the existing staff and bring
in their mates from their last jobs.
They then cancel programmes and commission focus groups
of unemployable daytime TV-watchers with personality
disorders to try and find out what viewers want.
Meanwhile, writers are summoned from all over the country
to dream up ideas for vibrant new, original programmes
- 'We don't know what we want but we'll know it when we
see it' - which are then ditched in favour of pet, cookery,
gardening and home improvement shows, or more shite with
Nick Berry in.
This time I'm considering pitching an idea about two sick
dogs who swap homes. While they're away they get looked
after by sexy vets, and their gardens and kennels have
makeovers. Then they die and get barbecued by Ainsley
Harriott. I'll need about a month in England for meetings
with various chancers, charlatans and posh boys calling
themselves producers, then I can go back to Ireland for
as long as I like."
Pete McCarthy, McCarthy's Bar, Hodder & Stoughton,
"Britain's largely middle-class consensus on what constitutes
impartiality helps to explain why TV news is so predictable
and unadventurous - and why TV news is growing less and
less attractive to large cross-sections of the viewing
Peter Preston, The Observer, 8 Dec 02
"Two of my colleagues at the BBC have regional accents
and are very experienced, yet they are constantly asked:
'Which university did you go to?' There is this unspoken
reality that, although I look different from you, I must
act, think and speak the same as you, which is then promoted
Unnamed BBC Journalist, The Guardian, 13 May 02
"Tony Blair's pledge to destroy the establishment that
controls large swathes of British life has been shattered
by research showing that the country's 'cultural gatekeepers'
are still older, white men, most often educated at either
Oxford or Cambridge.
"If anything, appointments under New Labour have become
more male and Oxbridge-dominated" said Damian Tambini,
author of the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR)
report, 'All Change at the Top?'
Kamal Ahmed, The Observer, 14 Apr 02
Greg Dyke revealed the "hideously white" nature of the
BBC last year.
Expecting to then rapidly recruit ethnic
minority staff into a white, male, Oxbridge-dominated
culture is, at best, naive.
Joy Francis, The Guardian, 13 May 02
"The whole world has changed. TV shows now are terribly
mean-spirited. You're rooting for people to be eliminated,
rooting for judges to find new ways of being nasty. I
wouldn't want to see electrocutions on TV. But I've no
doubt some day we will."
Chuck Barris, The Guardian 03 Mar 03
"Although New Labour may have come to power talking
of 'joined-up government', in practice it has approached
policy from the exactly opposite point of view - breaking
a problem down into its component parts and then attempting
to solve them in a linear fashion.
"As author Jake Chapman, a well known systems thinker,
points out, there are two important properties of complex
human-activity systems. One is that they can't be managed
by the use of crude performance targets, which bend them
out of shape and make implementers 'look the wrong way'
- at the targets rather than the needs of their clientele.
Nor, second, can they be managed by reductionist, command-and-control
methods, because of the many unintended consequences.
"Instead, such systems have to be carefully managed for
long-term, incremental improvements by 'introducing learning
processes rather than specifying outcomes or targets,'
and their success judged by users, not governments.
"Meanwhile, eaten by their toxic incentives, public-service
organisations run by targets on command-and-control lines
will, as an absolute certainty, become more dysfunctional
and more neurotic until they either seize up or explode."
Simon Caulkin, The Observer, 26 May 02
"I was thinking of going to Homebase this week - thought
I might give BBC2 a call, see if they wanted to make
a documentary about it."
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, Mar 04