I found the recent “9 days without BBC” experiment to be divisive and somewhat sinister. In my opinion it appears to create this fantasy choice that suggests the end of a licence fee would somehow erase past (paid for) content from existence, that all the episodes of Dad’s Army or Fawlty Towers would somehow vanish with no other possibility of outlet.
The headline numbers woo the reader away from the question of what exactly was being counted, which in this case was an utterly unlikely premise. They skilfully cover-off the possibility of existing with an advertising model with unmeasured opinion of “many” participants frustrated with having to sit through adverts… How many adverts? How long for? What channels? It’s fairly common knowledge that many of the american channels are much more aggressive with intermissions than our own independent broadcasters. And if the BBC would only need to make £12 per household, per month, would that be invasive advertising on the same scale.
The numbers are particularly cunning too. Splitting into three groups of; “Against paying”, “Prefer to pay less” and “Happy to pay”. The Radio Times report conveniently shuffles the first two numbers together and the rest of the article rapidly descends into a game of 3 shells and a pea, with no clear statement of how many remained steadfast in their opinion of not wishing to pay.
So the BBC raps itself on the back for the 33 families (of the combined 48) that changed their mind. Leaving behind 15 unsung families, of whom we do not know were ones who would pay less or entirely unwilling (and I couldn’t find it in the full final report either). But 15 families is a fair number of nay-sayers when we remind ourselves that we’re talking about a broadcaster here and not a political election. Not all democracies are equal, and for some things in life, people might argue that they should get a choice.
This isn’t about being for or against the BBC… I just don’t like poorly constructed surveys and dodgy divisive reporting.
With the actual report held here : http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/reports/pdf/lifewithoutthebbc.pdf