It appears that the BBC thinks its audience wants to watch the side of the head of its reporters.
Tonight, BBC news showed its reporters in various poses. A prominent new pose is the reporter speaking well to the side of the camera so that viewers are looking at the side of their head. Why? What is behind this new form of presentation? Is speaking to camera now too boring for audiences?
The attention span of audiences has declined from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds now. It is so low that television images must change rapidly and it appears that the image of a BBC reporter must now change from speaking to camera to viewing the side of his or her head. Additionally, the background must change and it adds to the image if they conclude with some dramatic gesture. In other words, BBC reporters need to develop some acting skills simply to tell us the news.
Making the news
Newsrooms around the world decide and ‘make’ the news. If audience figures for the mainstream media are going down, it may be because it is not news. Turning reporters into small-time actors is unlikely to make a difference and will drive this viewer further and further away from BBC news. I do not want to watch the side of a reporter’s head.
The BBC thought it was newsworthy tonight to show its correspondent at Vladimir Putin’s year-end press conference asking him about Boris Johnson’s derogatory comments about Putin. Putin put him down saying that it “has no importance whatsoever compared to the fundamental issues Russia is trying to solve”. It seems that the BBC cannot recognised a put-down or why did they think this was news? Possibly the BBC could learn how to concentrate on the fundamental issues instead of window-dressing images. Possibly it could develop some skills about determining news, just as bankers should learn about risk assessment.
The BBC’s report tonight about the adverse critical reception of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s expensive movie about humans dressed and behaving as cats is unlikely to add to the sum of useful human knowledge. This movie is more likely to demonstrate to Russian observers that Britain is loosing its discernment. After all, discrimination, which used to be a skill about discerning quality, is now a pejorative term and, along with racism, is one of the main secular sins of our generation – at least in the west. No wonder people are abandoning mainstream media for more informative alternative media.
24 Dec 2019: a BBC business reporter thinks it is newsworthy that ‘some’ have ‘suggested’ a white male Governor of the Bank of England is a “key flaw” in the appointment. This deserves the mocking that it gets here. This focus on gender is further evidence of the unequal pecking order in the equalities debate.
13 Feb 2019: the break-up of the NHS is not newsworthy?
10 Jan 2020: John Redwood accuses BBC Newsnight of being anti-Brexit.
9 Jan 2020: Why has the BBC not told us on its news reports that 75% of the Australian fires were begun by arsonists? Instead we were told this, which has a link acknowledging that 37% are suspicious.
9 Jul 2020: more BBC nonsense, quoting the BBC licence in US dollars.
26 May 2021: the BBC has returned to its “side of the head” pose for its presenters, as witnessed tangentially in BBC Newsnight tonight.