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Simpler message

Jeremy Hillman Jeremy Hillman | 13:08 UK time, Wednesday, 26 November 2008

In my job I expect to spend most of the time obsessing about the financial crisis and looming recession, its implications for all of us and how we are covering it. Yet I was still surprised when it became the centrepiece of my seven-year-old son's school assembly which I went to before work this morning.

The theme of the assembly was choice and personal responsibility and the kids all did brilliantly with readings about a wise man and foolish man and a song to finish. Then the headmaster talked to the whole school about the origins of the global financial crisis. Not surprisingly there were no mentions of mortgage backed securities and collateralised debt obligations!

Instead, he talked to the children about personal responsibility, not spending more than you have, and about thinking about the consequences for the future of your decisions now. This Christmas, he told the children, you should decide what you can afford and stick to that - it was obviously a message too for all of us parents sitting at the back.

As we spend a lot of our broadcasting time discussing bank behaviour, corporate greed, and failures of regulation it did make me wonder if there is a simpler message we should be conveying more strongly in our coverage.

I suspect my son though will still want that remote control helicopter and damn the consequences.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    You should not be conveying any messages in the news.

    You should be reporting it.

  • Comment number 2.

    Fortuitously there is a simple message..

    And rather timely..

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=oK_7ju0W8HA

  • Comment number 3.

    Simpler message?

    Eh, I'm sad to say, but you folks at BBC keep failing our kids and clouding our future with your meekness and irresponsibility.

    I would gave up on pointing that out on these blogs if you wouldn’t have those well established guidelines which you fail to follow.

    You should remove those altogether, it's far better to remove them, then to have them just to break 'em.

    Heh, hold no grudge Jeremy but BBC failed to give single real and factually accurate news about fundamentals of financial crisis since.., since the first reoccurrence.

    Same goes for other ever burning issues being discussed on other hyperactive threads.

    Here>

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=QkeEf74dXaw

    Have some real news for a change.

  • Comment number 4.

    Betting on stuff that isn't there, trading in millions of pounds (or dollars, or whatever) in currency and stock every day, meaningless numbers bandied around every day on whos bailing out who...

    As an onlooker, i have no idea what the stock exchange means really. I don't know if 4203 points, down 0.2% is good or bad. I can't comprehend that sort of money - the most i've ever seen is when they count the money in the bank with that note counter.

    two totally different worlds - us and them. Or us v's them. But the message is simple, and works well for both sides. Don't spend more than you need to, and Don't spend what you don't have.

    I think the BBC have done a good job of reporting on whats left of the financial world. However, the message, if indeed its right and proper for the BBC to imply a message in its impartial news broadcasts, should be don't live beyond your means. Don't drive a supercar if all you can afford is a supermini.

  • Comment number 5.

    Forgive my strong comments,however I am absolutely disgusted with the CONSTANT 'media hype' in relation to the 'credit crunch'.
    ( BBC INCLUDED )

    For the last 18 months the media frenzy on this subject has fanned and fueled the flames to an extent that is now WAY, WAY beyond repair.

    The media have made the American issue 100000% worse than it should be.
    Constant hyping of the problem...constant irresponsible headline making.....constant scaremongering......undermining peoples confidence without a thought about consequences.

    Most of these headlines could have been filmed at any time in the last 15 years....People shown sobbing as they can't afford their mortgage....this could be filmed at ANYTIME, so WHY, WHY, WHY choose now to show this type of situation and make a headline of it ?????

    To justify the presentors, reportors and Business Editors positions.....thats why.

    The BBC should change their tune and GET POSITIVE........... QUICK, or else you might find the comfortable and smug presentors, reportors and Business Editors MIGHT JUST FIND THEIR OWN JOBS ARE AT RISK.

    Heaven forbid, what will we do if we don't see vast numbers of presentors, editors making ridiculous and negative predictions, only really boosting their own high profiles, positions and egos night after night, whilst crushing the rest of countries industries and professions.

    SORT YOURSELVES OUT..........

    The BBC,who are usually reasonable in their reporting, are MAJOR culpits in hyping up the problem.

    WATCH OUT PRESENTORS and BUSINESS EDITORS........keep making the negative headlines and your jobs WILL BE NEXT.

    Can I suggest that you actually report on what the public believe is making the financial situation worse.........THE MEDIA will be the answer.

    REMEBER We pay your salaries...........STOP, STOP what you are doing to the country, AND GIVE US ALL A BREAK, BEFORE YOU PUT YOURSELVES OUT OF A JOB.

    I don't want hear a response a responsible reporting of an issue - that is ABSOLUTE RUBBISH.
    You CRUSH INDUSTRIES AND BUILDING TRADES for 15 minutes, and drop it like a brick for SOME OTHERR story, paying yet another reporters salary.

    Regards

  • Comment number 6.

    I don't think BBC will learn to live within its means or within any reasonable limits as long as it does not have to compete in the real world but is subsidized by its captive audience which has no choice.

  • Comment number 7.

    I think it would be very naive of any parent to believe that kids necessarily learn things logically, similarly, or from school assembly activities. Indeed, if they did so, life would be pretty boring for us all. Austerity in all its many forms is an act of necessity for many hit by financial crises but there are still those who attempt to spend their way our of difficulty - the underlying message being peddled by many governments around the globe right now.

    The BBC peddles its own version of propaganda driven by its overt tendency to see everything through middle class eyes. So what is the message you are trying to convey via your blog? That you have an answer to our present plight? That offspring will grow into responsible and erudite citizens because of this financial mess? Is that because you believe you are representative of your audience or representative of a broadcasting corporation that hasn't got a real grip on what life is like outside?



  • Comment number 8.

    What is the point of the headmaster's homily if you undermine it by fulfilling your son's extravagant demands.

    Teach him to compromise on life's expectancies by buying him a reasonably priced helicopter model.

    Then help him assemble it.

  • Comment number 9.

    Surely what the headmaster was guilty of is the peddaling of the trite comments that mere minions have to comply with. That is to say when someone has ripped everyone off the remaining resources are finite. Rover 6000 jobs gone, dead;Woolworths and MFI 25,000 jobs gone. But the Banks !Ah yes the the Banks. Were they responsible, were they careful? No but the response is to make us all into non executive share holders who have no control of where the banks next squander their aquired Billions which have come from our pockets and to fill the gap we have to fork out more. Surely the headmaster should have pointed out that unless we are a Bank CEO we have to husband our resources. If on the other hand we aquire that esteemed status we can not only hold the Government to Ransome but we can plunder others wealth as well. There's a moral here that escapes me.....

  • Comment number 10.

    Does anybody else find it annoying to overhear the news as a cosy conversation between reporters and newscasters I would like the news reported to me and not as part of their own inhouse name dropping.

  • Comment number 11.

    ARLANE: I think might be after Eric Arthur Blair's "Ignorance is Strength"?

    Don't shoot the messenger ARLANE!

  • Comment number 12.

    hold on guys...with the economic crises happening all over the place...why dont the govts just instruct banks in their respective countries to freeze payments on what 'main street' people spend on the most - the morgage repayments!...say for 3 months,this puts more money in the pockets and encourages spending, kick-starting the economy in the process...

    and while they are at it....the govts should freeze all tax as well...for the same period...now that would be a way forward..and what does it lead to...RESULTS!... any ideas y this wouldnt work..

  • Comment number 13.

    I think we got the necessary message when banks started collapsing, Govt`s started throwing trillions into the banking system and countries went bankrupt.
    A phrase involving smelly creeks but minus paddles comes to mind.

    As for kick starting the economy: banks seem reluctant to lend, the public are reluctant to spend or increase debt levels because no one knows what next year holds? The spectre of redundancy concentrates the mind. I imagine many will be concentrating on reducing any credit card debt etc and saving what`s left over for that reason; and that`s not good news for retailers.

  • Comment number 14.

    #10

    I agree that the BBC has a horrible knack of sending people all over the place so that they can have cozy little chats with "home" over a satellite link. They are not talking to their paymasters - they are talking to their corporation cronies and having a laugh at their paymasters. It is time for us to instruct our MPs how we want the BBC run.

    #12

    This comment is a great example of the many diverse ways that positive action could be achieved that does not involve giving more to those who already have too much. It is a pity that the media do not represent and pressure such diversity in its dealings with our political and commercial masters.

    How long must we be fleeced at every opportunity before we say enough is enough?

  • Comment number 15.

    By instilling in children good habits right from the start, parents would be doing themselves and their children a world of good: teaching them how to save and the value of things for starters. By inculcating good values and good practices like saving and not spending recklessly, parents would be preparing children for the grim realities of life. Being frugal but not mean is a wonderful lesson that all children should learn.

  • Comment number 16.

    Jeremy,

    its coming to something when it takes your kids headmaster to point out the blindingly obvious.

    If you spend what you don't have it all ends in tears.

    The problem with UK PLC is the phenomenal waste of public money on silly projects, much of which ends up in the hands of 'consultants' and others but utterly fails to be spent on the actual project!

    I mean why are they knocking down perfectly good school buildings just because the schools are 'underperforming'?

    If a fraction of the money on teaching the kids would get a far better education than sitting them in a new building at vast expense with the same old staff.......




  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Well, the BBC's ability to 'report' news maybe a litle suspect, but what is more suspect is the propensity to 'comment'. Unfortunately it would seem that often the BBC is the Government propoganda machine, and never stops to ask some simple questions?
    I.E. : How can the government foresee the end of the recession? It says it didnt see it coming, and Peter M says its difficult to predict how deep it will be. Well, he better talk to Alistair D, as he thinks we're going to be out of it this time next year. If they can engineer us out of it, when others are supposed to have engineered us into it, there's something a liitle funny there..... dont u think? And how come the disparity of understanding between the Chancellor and the Business Secretary? Has the world gone mad?
    Then there is the question of Tax! This is really interesting. Peter M says they dont/wont tax unless there is a need!. Well, how do we come to be in such need? And will not the need increase? Anyone who sidesteps this issue is living in cloud cuckoo land. So we have a need already (to tax extra), and as things worsen with more national debt so we will be taxed more! Its a Labour thing-cause and effect. Think of all the millions and billions that has been mentioned recently as well as poured recklessly at every problem without thought and proper management in the last 11 years........
    The Government has an addiction: SPENDING! Its the answer to all our ills. It believes every individual should join in......regardless of the fact that this is how we are where we are.......if we havent got it, we'll get some more, and still keep spending. Root cause=Government. Responsibility=Government!
    BBC? will you report it? I fear 'no' - but maybe someone with some common sense might just apply it to this situation, and awaken everyone to what is happening, rather than trying to carry on as normal.
    One could continue, but we are being hoodwinked by Government propaganda, aided and abetted by the EU...... they have no concept of money management either- except how to get it into their own pockets!
    Then there is the question of the Police state that has been brewing and now is in the open... prodded by Government and will become more common as we are sucked into the EU..... Time for us ALL to wake up, ask ourselves a few questions, and hopefully the BBC will become more critical and objective of Goverment, this one particularly.......bring it down a step or two-or more!

  • Comment number 21.

    #20

    This is a reasoned and passioned post that deserves a response on these blogs. Will it get one? Probably not and the answer lies in the timid and bloodless reporting that the Corporation encourages. It is absolutely correct to state that Mr Darling and Mr Brown have stated that "no one saw the economic crisis coming" and that "it is a global problem" and yet these same people are saying "it will end in 2009" and that "what we are doing is right". The BBC religiously report these political opinions as news and then mix them in their commentary. No attempt is made to balance this opinion with input from those with differing views just as the BBC rehearsed for so very long "recession, what recession?".

    We are already aware of just how much deeper the concerns are about political behavior by the police and there is little doubt that what happens there is mirrored in our broadcasting media. Who is setting news policy, agenda and content in the BBC and what are their political leanings?

    The BBC are not just hamstrung by political correctness they are crippled with it. It takes over all Government agencies in a similar way and is one of the chief reasons why we see so much incompetence, so much poor management, so much wasted money, so may OTT contracts for people who are at best mediocre. A public service sub contract is easy money for whoever gets it because there is no monitoring, no penalty for default, and endless chances to "do better". Public officials jump at the sight of their own shadow, cannot deal with criticism and have no idea what diversity actually means. It is a narrow, blinkered and impotent world much worse than the red blooded conviction of those it tries to suppress.

    It is OK to have passion, to feel angry, to want to do something about what is wrong, to want to make a difference. It is not OK to go through the motions - BBC please note.

  • Comment number 22.

    Can we all get things into the correct perspective here please? I have just read so many negative comments and opinions about negativity leaving a negative feeling, and a couple of people in agreement with a headmaster! Anyone had a better solution to offer to the problems? NO.

    The Media is called that because it is in the middle of those in charge of the country and those who are charged by it, and them.
    The object is to provide a service, which the BBC does to the best of its ability under the circumstances and without forcing us to have to have advertisements telling us to buy what we cannot afford! This to me is a luxury!

    It is also a luxury in the world today to have freedom of speech, so that the people who want to communicate freely can do (unless it is damaging all round). Hence, they are open to reading all these negative complaints from members of the public who have not thought of a better solution to give us all (the country) Top to Bottom.

    When the BBC started it catered for British viewers and as the world has changed the audience is now global. The reasons we are all in this financial mess is also a global problem and using the Government or the BBC as scapegoats to blame solves nothing and just is not true.

    With regard to the headmaster of the school and the children, I must say I think he is right completely to set the children on the right footing. However, children being children rarely do what they are told to if it is forced on them. They need to hear " Those are the facts, think about them, and make your own minds up - it's your money if you have earned it".

    As for the helicopter, I bought my son a super model version when he was 3 (a Matchbox one costing very little and now worth very much). It became part of a collection that hung from the ceiling above his bed and everyone was happy.

    So if you have a complaint or problem, do air it or write it or say it - but- and there is always a but- follow that complaint with a solution that attempts to solve the problems. If you cannot do this, then you are no better than the Government or the BBC or anyone else.

    "If you didn't need it this morning - then you don't need it now!".

    Personally "I do".

  • Comment number 23.

    I have a real issue with the BBC and news reporting. Not the waste of money sending a reporter to stand in a meaningless muddy field because it is near to Pirbright. No, it is the issue of people's confidence.
    The BBC is a political tool. Remember Northern Rock? The reporting was excused on the basis that "someone else might have got there first". But this is not the real issue. The real issue is that after being told by the BBC (and New Labour) that "there is no cause for alarm", virtually every account holder in Northern Rock lined up to take their money out.
    So the public believed the BBC reporting enough to see a problem at NR, but totally disbelieved them when they said "don't worry". Partly this is because if it really was a non-story, why report it? But the real reason was "why take any risk?" Media must understand its power over the sheep and use it wisely.

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    "if there is a simpler message that we should be conveying more strongly in our coverage."

    Yes: don't "convey messages". Your job is to report the news - hopefully, impartially - not to create it.

  • Comment number 26.

    #22

    "...BBC does to the best of its ability under the circumstances and without forcing us to have to have advertisements..."

    I am sorry but this statement is fallacious. The BBC does nothing to prevent advertisements; it is its Charter and the license payers who do that.

    "When the BBC started it catered for British viewers and as the world has changed the audience is now global."

    Once again this has absolutely no truth since the Charter remains the same - if the globe wishes to listen to the BBC that is its choice but they do not PAY for the privilege to do so - the BBC's British audience does.

    The question in the initial blog is not about the headmaster's message, it concerns whether or not the BBC can .... convey simpler messages.... and most of the comments here suggest that the BBC should be reporting news and not conveying messages. That seems to be both comment AND solution to me.

  • Comment number 27.

    #23

    I think the example of Northern Rock is entirely apt and indeed was covered in a blog on the Editor's pages.

    I think it is appallingly arrogant of any journalist to assume the role of "influencing" an audience rather than communicating news and information. In the case of Northern Rock every individual "saver" had a perfect right to assess and decide what to do. That is their business and their business alone and nothing to do with Mr Darling, Northern Rock executives or directors or anyone else. That more than one person chose the same action is equally irrelevant to anyone other than those people as individuals.

    If the day has arrived when the broadcasting media endows itself with a right to "influence" then "Nineteen Eighty Four" is truly upon us. What next can we expect - subliminal content?

  • Comment number 28.

    What about MFI? All seems to have gone quiet on that front. I have Thousands of £££ stuck and work partially incomplete. Bathrooms are in mess.
    None of the 'Thinktanks' / economists are displaying concerns for common man with his money stuck at MFI.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    #26 I quite agree to your objection about :

    "When the BBC started it catered for British viewers and as the world has changed the audience is now global."

    When the BBC started it catered to LISTENERS (TV wasn't yet invented) right across the British empire. At the time that was a 1/3rd of the world.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    Oh if everyone would heed the words of the headmaster. As a professor of ethics I would feel as though heaven exists on earth if only the concept and lesson of personal responsibility were widely promulgated and embraced.

  • Comment number 34.

    Here is a simple question perhaps you guys can answer;
    With oil now down to an amazing $50, how come the price at the pumps are still so very high? Shouldn't they be at least 10-15p lower per litre?

  • Comment number 35.

    Who is responsible for the financial crises we are in now? They should be named and shamed. Those responsible have spoiled every ones Christmas for this year and for the next few.

    Our country is facing a bigger risk than that poised by terrorists, it is the job of the intelligence services to protect us. Did the intelligence services know of the risks and did the politicians ignore them? If they did not anticipate it then why not

    Did Gordon Brown relax the regulatory rules of the banks when he became chancellor in 97 which was a poison pill which he knew would blow up, the way that he knew the 10p was one mine too many for Tony Blair?

  • Comment number 36.

    #33.

    The concept of "personal responsibility" is, of course, perfectly apt on a level playing field and is probably the only way to "play the game" when the rules are fair.

    Unfortunately however the rules are fair only when rates of employment hit the mid to late ninety percentage points. At the moment between three and four people in every ten of working age are not in work, and when the economically inactive are counted in, the ration is even more slanted against the person out of work. Given this employers are able to exploit their workforce, to sack at the drop of a hat, or carry very high turnover to psychologically "threaten" their employers.

    Unemployment has always carried a stigma and yet for many who have paid their National Insurance dues the first six months of their claim is repayment of their contributions like any good insurance scheme provides.

    The problem we have in the UK is in appalling and inappropriate re-skilling and retraining provision where only the most basic needs are catered for by Government agencies. We need much more strategic thinking by Government and private business viz - we have a recycling issue; what investment, jobs and training can we introduce to ensure all society benefits from improved recycling systems with "new" expertise that can be exported around the world? We need innovation rather than the super-cloning favoured in both public and private sectors.

  • Comment number 37.

    Each and every individual in society is like a wheel that is linked to several other wheels in the same machine. And this single wheel has no freedom of movement in and of itself, but continues with the motion of all the other wheels in a certain direction in order for the machine to perform its general purpose. And if there is a breakdown in one wheel, it is not seen as a breakdown in this one wheel, but is assessed according to the service and role it performs in the entire machine.
    Baal HaSulam, “Peace in the World"

  • Comment number 38.

    #34. 6 month ago petrol was £1.20 a litre. Its below 90p now. Given that most of the cost is tax anyway the oil companies ARE passing the cost on. Diesel is staying expensive because no one has built a new diesel refinery in Europe for over 20 years and demand is still outstripping supply.

    I note comments 31 & 32 have been 'passed to the mods'. Tories MP's have the right to free speach apparently but not licence fee payers who criticise the BBC.

  • Comment number 39.

    I live in North East England and a local maxim is live by the cut of your cloth - i.e. know your limits So as I have no debt - save for 4 years on my mortgage - and brought up 2 kids by using my own money to fund university clothes food etc. Can somebody explain as to what is a CREDIT CRUNCH ?

  • Comment number 40.

    The truth is of course that a remote control helicopter is not very expensive.

    One difficulty we have in my view is that we are inundated with options to buy things very cheaply which bring superficial satisfactions. Because many of us are actually in need of something deeper but don't know how to get it, we just keep trying to find satisfaction in ways which don't work. The whole economy is fuelled by a widespread sense of dis-satisfaction - all advertising seeks to exploit this.

    We tend to emulate the man who lost his keys in a dark garden, and was discovered looking for them on the pavement under the street lamp. When asked why he was looking there he explained, 'because its' light here'.

  • Comment number 41.

    I applaud this attitude and agree that we should be giving the right messages to the young; But, having 2 sons at university in London, I do feel we have created a culture over the last few years where young people are given the aspirations to get to University, but at a very high cost of coming out after 3 years with alot of debt;

    We are giving mixed messages here are we not - i.e. we must control our spending on the one hand, but also we encourage our youngsters to do well at school and achieve academically but going to University means you build up student loans and are in debt before you even get a job;

  • Comment number 42.

    First of all, you cannot blame corporate greed on individual lust. I am sure they are aware of people's need for things but nonetheless.

    Secondly, it is sad that it takes this type of global financial down turn for educators to start teaching responsible behavior.

    I actually find it rather disgusting that this kind of event had to happen for this kind of teaching to happen..

    I on the other hand grew up with my mothers teachings which went like this;

    "If you cannot afford to pay your rent / mortgage with a weeks pay, then you are living beyond your means."

    Sound advice for from a lady who was a kid during The Great Panic. The word depression was only used to lighten the severity of what is actually happening.

    I then applied this ideology to everything I could when I could. But I never lived beyond my means regardless the desire to want for something.

    I feel sad so many out there are in such hard times due to frivolity but we reap what we sow don't you know.

    My mother also used to say "spare the rod spoil the child".

    But that's another topic for another day.

    With all due respect,
    Responsibility lies with the consumer too

  • Comment number 43.

    #41. I didn't have to pay tuition fees, at least for my first degree, but neither did I get a grant or loan. I ended university with a total debt of £900 (an interest free overdraft). I joined the TA, went every weekend (which worked out about £60 a weekend), did my two week camp each year and qualified for my annual tax free bounty. I did two attachments with the regular army over summer including 4 months in Croatia as UN peacekeeper. I ended up with a decent degree, an impressive CV and the sort of life experience that no university can provide.

    Unlike many of my own students (I do some teaching at a major uni) I did not own a car, did not rent a luxury flat at £70 a week, did not have foreign holidays (at least not to places were body armour wasn't required!) and didn't spend £50+ on booze every saturday night.

    If students a) earned some cash by working part time & b) lived within their means student debt would be a fraction of what it is.

  • Comment number 44.

    Peter, why are you comparing your financial situation at least a decade ago with anyone else's? It has no relevance.

  • Comment number 45.

    Apparently my comment #32 violated house rules but I can repost if I rewrite it.

    O.K

    The BBC is utterly impartial in its coverage of Israel, Walter Wolfgang was brutally mistreated for hours under anti-terror laws and probably waterboarded on the pavement. Only British, American and Israeli police misuse their powers. China & Russia have great police who would never shoot someone trying to arge into a political conference without ID.

    BBC mods do a great job and the posts that are rejected on HYS are never rejected because they dare to go against the BBC view of the world. The licence fee is great value for money and the Balen report was doubtless wrong which is why its never been released.

  • Comment number 46.

    #44. It has great relevance. Food, housing and fuel still had to be paid for. The only difference was that I didn't have to pay tuition fees. I managed to pay all my living costs by working weekends and not wasting too much cash on luxuries I didn't need. That is entirely relevant. Students do not need cars, mobile phones and ensuite bathrooms.

  • Comment number 47.

    And just to add to my post 46- for my second degree (a masters) I DID have to pay £3000 up front fees. Thats about the same as 1 year on a BSc today.

  • Comment number 48.

    #40

    "Growth economies" require social engineering that creates discontent amongst its subjects, and invents the formula that "amount of expenditure = amount of expected satisfaction". Note the key word "expected".

    If we are looking for reasons why resources are being depleted quickly, why our planet faces spiraling environmental chaos, and why our people become frustrated and unfulfilled, it is because we invent needs where there are none, and create vacuums that people become desperate to fill. The "expectation" phenomena can be seen everywhere from the billboard filled with "sunshine", to the manufactured "happiness" in simulated music.

    Western culture has never been happy with the concept of waiting patiently, of practicing relentlessly, of constantly improving discipline and skill. It has never been at ease with the concept of personal empowerment whereby even the most apparently insignificant has a value at least equal to that of the most apparently significant.

    Perhaps if and when humanity once again acknowledges modesty and humbleness as virtues to be prized, we will all find a key to what life is really all about.

  • Comment number 49.

    #26 and #40

    I don't always agree with the BBC's coverage, especially over the recent financial crisis, but in general it does provide value for money for licence fee payers. Each UK household pays less than 40p per day to have a TV licence which funds the following:

    BBC TV - BBC1, 2, 3 and 4.
    BBC News
    CBeebies
    CBBC
    BBC Parliament
    BBC Radio - Radio 1, 1 extra, 2, 3, 4, 5Live, 5Live Extra, 6Music, 7 and the Asian Network.
    Over 50 BBC Local Radio Stations
    BBC Online (BBC News being one of the world's most popular websites)

    Would advertising really be able to provide all this?

    The BBC World services (radio, television and online) are funded separately by the government and are seen as a key service in promoting democracy/independent news sources and promoting British Culture throughout the World. The services the BBC provide around the globe also bring in large revenue amounts through marketing and subscription charges. Foreign users of BBC Services therefore help subsidise the cost to UK licence payers.

  • Comment number 50.

    #49 my biggest gripe with the BBC and a point I frequently make ad frequently have deleted by the mods is the BBC's repeat policy:

    The BBC make damn good drama, often in conjunction with other broadcasters. Examples are Spooks, The Tudors, Rome etc. some of the best TV you ever see globally. However you never see them again.... they're shown once and sold to satellite stations or only put on DVD. Instead we get constant repeats of Dads Army and Open all hours, especially on BBC 2 mainly because the BBC has sold the decent stuff on.

    I don't especially want advertising breaks as ITV does but I don't see why the BBC can't have product placement and sponsorship. Ground force brought to you with B&Q. Nigella express with Tesco express and let the sponsors products be used in the program. Frankly a cookery show where all the ingredients can be picked up in a local supermarket would be more use than the current shows so entirely within the BBC's remit to be a public service provider. I wouldn't cover the licence fee but it would certainly allow it to be reduced.

  • Comment number 51.

    For me it will be several years until I access news via a mobile phone. I find the time to load a page takes a long time and I am not confident about receiving television on it. Even if I could get a BBC live stream on my mobile I am not sure I would watch it as I have vision problems and the small screen on a mobile makes it difficult for me to see. Right now I prefer either television or the BBC web site.

  • Comment number 52.

    Can I just agree hearily with the comment made by KennethM (#1)? The BBC has to end speculative reporting, and try to avoid the moralising. The value of the BBC is the objective reporting of fact and its interpretation, and neither wild speculation nor moral outrage have a place in that.

  • Comment number 53.

    Arlane:

    I agree with your sentiments!

    I believe the media has done more to talk this country into recession than it can ever comprehend. The sensational coverage, day after day after........... becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

    We are all too scared now to go out and spend any money, which would be a major factor in overcoming this downturn.

    The above, and the overwhelming culpability of the banks of course..............

    Need I say more?

  • Comment number 54.

    A simpler message about the financial crisis is
    ' We have had a substantial devaluation of the pound following government action'

  • Comment number 55.

    I work at financial field too, I always try to find a simple message about economy news release.Somtimes i can see BBC Business News or sometime use bloomberg news too.

  • Comment number 56.

    Do kids really have to be taught about the recession?? I dont think so.
    The world is just going pretty mad in my eyes.

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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