I am a bit late with this but although I will start with the BBC Oscar coverage, the general point applies to all BBC news.
It is a questionable point whether much of the Oscar ceremony should be on BBC news because it is not what I would call hard news. But at least it makes a change from the usual fare of BBC news these days which tends to be 50% NHS, 25% education and 25% sport, unless we have something such as the budget to cover. Of course this is an exaggeration because it does not include the ‘news’ that is really an advert for some forthcoming programme.
But the Oscar coverage was appalling because it obsessed about the ‘mistake’. I did not learn anything about who won what and the poor dope who was there to cover it live and interview celebrities was just embarrassing. I felt so sorry for him – who wanted to talk to him?
In a section dealing with viewers’ comments, a spokesman for the BBC said that the coverage was justified because people viewed the website in their hoards. This is not a justification for spending so much time wallowing in the mistakes made by others (a dangerous thing to do) – millions of people watch cats falling off the top of sofas – it does not make that news!
Like so much of the news, this is just low-hanging-fruit: cheap, easy broadcasting.
Unfortunately, real news coverage requires teams of reporters rather than people surfing the internet, and costs a lot of money. The BBC has limited funds and I am not questioning its value for money, but please, give us something that we can’t get from Youtube or Twitter and don’t think that they are a role model.