Sunday, April 30, 2006

UK - A BBC future from planet bonkers

That's what Bryan Appleyard thinks, writing in The Times (UK).

It's a good article and Bryan makes some good points but I think there's a lot more going on here.

The BBC have finally awoken to the threat the Internet poses to it. With broadband and PCs becoming more widespread, faster and cheaper, what's available on the net is exploding. You can now watch TV and movies on demand with virtually no loss of qality - 24/7. Further, you get to select what you watch. These used to be decisions the BBC made - no longer.

What really scares the BBC is losing the megaphone - the news. It started with blogs and bloggers or what's now called "citizen media". Blogs are no longer limited to just the written word. Now we have "vlogs" or video blogs and podcasting. Think of one as TV news and the other as radio news.

Some of these are getting very professional. Check out Michelle Malkin's Hot Air broadcasts and Instapundits Podcasts. Yes, that's Glenn doing a telephone interview with Bill Frist, the Senate Majority leader. No MSM needed.

That's the BBC's greatest fear. The BBC will no longer be able to force its left wing agenda on the world. It's power to do that is already being eroded by bloggers like myself, Biased BBC, The American Expat, Adloyada and others you can find on the left sidebar.

How worried is the BBC? This worried.

I'm not sure if the conference is to demonstrate that bloggers are "Digital Assassins" or if it's a BBC recruiting drive for "Digital Assassins". I'd bet on the latter.

One things clear, the BBC has seen the future and it knows it cannot survive in its current form. For as Bryan notes:

But the truth is, for all the triumphalism of his lecture, his position was weak and he knew it. He played the only card he had if the gorilla was to stay in the room and not be replaced by some smaller, less imperial ape. The licence-fee deal comes this summer. It will be the last, and it won’t survive the decade.

Thank God for that.

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