Saturday, July 28, 2007

BBC needs management clear-out

Jeff Randall, the BBC's business editor from 2001 to 2005, says. He's right.

"That said, it is an institution with a thick layer of egregiously poor management. For every journalist foot-soldier, gamely filing reports from war zones, there is, back at HQ, a battalion of worse-than-useless, middle-ranking meddlers with only one aim: to survive long enough to draw a pension.

These are what a news editor described to me as "creatures of the corridors". Many are failed broadcasters.

They exist in a parallel universe of meetings about meetings. They are masters of work creation, digging holes in order to fill them in, communicating largely by sanitised memos. They know every BBC guideline on race, gender, equality, diversity, health and safety.

Yet when required to take a decision, they refer up, delegate down or, better still, go missing. They abhor accountability."

And as for those training courses the BBC keeps putting its staff on everytime they get caught faking it...

"In addition, there will be a raft of new courses and training for all editorial staff to teach them the merits of veracity, plus the establishment of a standards panel.

This is meat and drink for the Jobsworths. You can almost hear them cheering. It is what they live for: awaydays, flip charts, presentations, focus groups and feedback sessions. Opportunities to appear busy and important. Trebles all round."

Then back to the old fabrication mill.

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