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Dean Whitbread 2013

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Written on May 27, 2009, and categorized as Flip side.
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The BBC website promoted “Have Your Say” the other day – “make the news!” – in its push for more user-provided content. Having previously contributed via Seesmic and other means to their online offering, even appearing on TV once or twice, I thought it appropriate to explain to them why I would no longer be taking them up on their kind offer.

I filled in the form without expecting it to be published. Sure enough, it wasn’t.

Still, I made a note of my say, so that I could avail myself of an unmediated place, viz, my own blog.

I have many times contributed to the BBC’s news and current affairs which I’m pleased to see is gradually becoming more open, modern and starting to use first-hand testimony and opinion. However I have reservations because the same policy, dictated from on high, is applied in all cases. Thus, this openess is not very open at all. You’ll only get your view “aired” or published if it conforms with said editorial policy.

For example, Gaza. Despite the fact that the vast majority of the population were pro-showing the DEC appeal, in sympathy with the unprotected Gazan population, and it was only the BBC and Sky who decided that somehow Oxfam et al were not to be trusted with our money, the comments published here were studiously “balanced” – which is to say actually unrepresentative of opinion.

If you want our news, we have to trust that you’ll deal with it fairly and since that particular time, you have lost that trust with me at least.

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