The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom. — Jon Stewart (via usatoday)
The BBC has recently been in the middle of some of the biggest media and communications failures of this decade. Beginning with their poor handling of the Jimmy Saville fiasco, where Sir Jimmy Saville was found to have committed child abuse and the BBC was facing allegations of conspiracy to cover up these matters. The BBC cancelled a Newsnight “special” examining the Saville allegations, however with Saville’s passing, it was alleged to have been decided within the BBC that the “special” would not be run, this got out to the rest of the media, who were more than happy to bring out their fingers of blame and point out faults.
The BBC decided to deal with the situation broadcasting an interview with the Director-General George Entwistle. During the interview it appeared as though Entwistle was did not receive any media training or warning, as the interview went so negatively that some apportion a lot of the blame for his eventual resignation to this interview. Entwistle took up a fairly defensive position, without taking any responsibility himself and failing to remain calm during a tough interview. After Entwistle’s resignation the BBC appointed a new Director-General.
Things only went from bad to worse for the BBC, when it was reported by their flagship programme Newsnight that a senior official in a previous government was involved in organised child abuse activity, without thorough checks or evidence. They were accused of false reporting and the allegations were denied. Which was a journalistic, ethical and legal disaster.
The appointment of a new Director-General, who is untouched by the fiasco appears to be a move in the right direction. However, due to the communications mishandling of the crisis and the issues surrounding it, the BBC’s reputation is severely tarnished, a reputation which will surely take a very long time to rebuild. The BBC may never be the same.
— DS —
As you may well know (particularly if you’re reading this from the U.K) Starbucks (among other organisations) has been in the news a lot recently, for allegedly not paying any income tax in the last 3 years. Although some have attempted to use these findings to justify calls for “doing something about such tax avoiders”, I think the real issue here is one of competition, how such tax measures bring an unfair competitive advantage to those who have such measures at their disposal, and the competitive disadvantage to those who do no have such measures available at their disposal.
Such measures lead to an anti-competitive environment, which doesn’t benefit the public or the economy. Where there is a Starbucks on the high street, another could take its place, whether this is an independent cafe, another chain or something else entirely. An even playing field is required for all competitors, so that entrepreneurs have a fair chance to compete. Such a tax environment benefits large global corporations, over small, medium and even large organisations based in the UK.
— DS —