Welcome to the BBC Television blog

Thursday 18 February 2010, 10:10

Jana Bennett Jana Bennett Director, BBC Vision

Welcome to our new blog, where we'll be covering all aspects of our 'Vision' output, so named because it includes the programmes you watch on our television channels, all our related online content and red button.

I am the director of BBC Vision and though I'm pleased to have written this first posting, this is not my own personal blog. Instead, this is a place for me and my colleagues in BBC Vision to talk with you about the creative processes behind programme making and the public debates that matter.

We'll aim to give you a sense of what we are really thinking on key topics as they arise and to set the record straight should a story get misinterpreted in the wider media. In short what we're opening up is a two-way dialogue with you, the viewers and us, the programme makers.

We will all be contributing to the blog in turn, so we won't all be here all the time. Personally I expect to write one or two posts a month and I would expect the same from other colleagues in Vision. Although I won't be able to respond to all your posts individually (if I did I doubt I would have time to do the day job) the blog editor, Fiona Wickham, will ask me now and then to respond to your really crucial and popular points.

Television is a fundamental part of popular culture - it matters enormously to so many people and for so many different reasons - so we're looking forward to you posting your comments and hearing what you think about all our output.

Doctor Who new series 2010: Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond

This feels like a very good time to be launching the television blog with so much going on across the BBC. The Winter Olympics have just kicked off with coverage on BBC Two, BBC Three and BBC HD. Also this month CBBC launches a new documentary series called My Life about the personal stories of extraordinary children, the World Of Wonder season continues on BBC Two with Wonders Of The Solar System coming next month and the launch of the new series of Doctor Who draws ever closer. Not forgetting this Friday which sees the 25th anniversary of EastEnders being marked by the show's first ever live episode.

EastEnders is much more than just a soap; it is a show that has held a mirror up to the UK over the last 25 years reflecting many of the toughest issues that have affected our society in that time, from Mark Fowler contracting HIV, to Little Mo's domestic abuse nightmare to, more recently, Stacey Slater's bipolar disorder.

EastEnders: Stacey Slater sits in Albert Square

The show has been instrumental in raising awareness of these issues helping them to become acceptable topics of conversation in homes across the country. The result is that not only have audiences been entertained but the show has helped millions of viewers grapple with difficult topics over the years.

Diederick Santer, the executive producer has written an insider post here about the 25th anniversary episode here and I would urge you to have a read. It will show you what a truly momentous effort has gone into making sure that Friday is going to be a really special night for the show.

So that's it for now. I am looking forward to returning here soon to blog about more programmes including Vanessa Engle's three-part documentary series, Women on BBC Four, which will coincide with International Women's Day.

Until then - enjoy reading and please do sign up and join in. The blog will be all the better with your input.

Jana Bennett is director of BBC Vision

Comments

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    Comment number 1.

    Would love to know more about what BBC is doing with its audience, rather than for. There seem to be some interesting programmes for younger people - First Time Voters - for instance. BBC Trust reported that BBC was reaching the 16-34 year olds with mainstream programming but that BBC Switch could have been more effective, and interactivity was rather expensive. That was in late 2008. What has happened now?

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    Comment number 2.

    I would just like to know if there has been a third series of Survivors commissioned - i hope so!

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    Comment number 3.

    Reactive moderation is good for this blog. Saying that I seen alot of blogs appearing lately on this BBC site. Are you thinking of doing a blog for BBC4?

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    Comment number 4.

    The BBC TV blog - blimey that's a huge scope - will watch this one develop with interest

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    Comment number 5.

    Bookmarked the #bbctv blog

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    Comment number 6.

    Television shows like Survivors are all about fantasy. You ask me to imagine a world with 99% of the population dead and the other 1% trying to find a way to survive. While watching the show I get to know the characters and suspend my perception of reality from commerical to commercial for an hour, maybe even for a whole week until the next episode. Thanks to your writers, directors, actors, and production staff, I and other viewers are able to do this week after week. And trust me, you want us to do that...you want us to relate to the characters 110%. No TV show can be successful unless its audience becomes entrenched maybe even enmeshed, if only for that hour.

    So why then do your moronic marketing and advertising people force me to face the fact that all of this is completely unreal...it's all pretend...by having the actors come out of character and discuss their characters in a commercial for the show during the show?!!!! They break the 'spell' that the entire cast and crew has worked so hard to weave. And when they do it smack dab in the middle of the show, they put the actors in a position of delivering the message to their fans "Hey, this is all a game...."

    Your marketeers have done it with other shows...shows that have been short-lived. Hmmmm, wonder why. It's as if you sabotage your own shows!?!!!!!!????!!??

    Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

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    Comment number 7.

    It would be good to have some clarity about what this blog is really about.

    It is really just going to be about programmes? It seems to be so far.

    The "about" says
    "Get the views of BBC bosses, presenters, scriptwriters and cast from the inside of the shows. Read reviews and opinions and share yours on all things TV - your favourite episodes, live programmes, digital channels, the schedule and everything else."

    That last bit seems a bit open ended. Is that really going to be the case?

    For example, by far the main topic of discussion with regard to BBC HD on the BBC Internet Blog as been about the Picture Quality of BBC HD, and technical issues surrounding that. It seems inappropriate to dicuss that under "internet", so I do assume future debates on that topic would move here?

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    Comment number 8.

    Thank you Jana, as you've not mentioned it (and there are no links to it), can I flag up the Points Of View Television boards?

    We've been discussing television there for a few years now. It would be great if you and your colleagues were to contribute to the discussions about television there too. It's all the BBC after all.

    The board can be found here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/F1951566

    Faye

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    Comment number 9.

    Ha ha! I just got a message saying I had said the same thing as Faye in message eight - even though I can't see it, and I'm a different poster!

    So that's how the blog differs from the board - more censorship here!

    Seriously, are the years-old board and this new blog going to be linked?

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    Comment number 10.

    New member? How am I a new member?

    This blog mirrors the TV Board where I've been posting for years, and I've posted to a plethora of BBC blogs, largely thanks to that very same TV Board!

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    Comment number 11.

    Does this blog mark the death knell of the POV messageboards? They are much more user friendly than the blog format.

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    Comment number 12.

    Faye Tsar said:
    "can I flag up the Points Of View Television boards?
    We've been discussing television there for a few years now. It would be great if you and your colleagues were to contribute to the discussions about television there too."


    Points of View is not relevant in any serious discussion about the BBC, it's just a messageboard for people that have nothing better to do in their life than complain about insignificant things. You couldn't possibly have a serious debate there about the direction the BBC is going, the programmes they're making. In these times of austerity and cost-cutting, POV should be the first thing to go.

    Blogs with input from programme makers are the way forward, the opportunity for all people to get involved and participate in the debate. I look forward to reading more.

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    Comment number 13.

    Points of View is not relevant in any serious discussion about the BBC, it's just a messageboard for people that have nothing better to do in their life than complain about insignificant things. You couldn't possibly have a serious debate there about the direction the BBC is going, the programmes they're making.

    There's nothing POVers would like more than for BBC employees and programme-makers to engage with us on the boards.

    Instead of doing that, they set up a blog whose remit seems to be what the POV boards have been doing for years !

    Why start from scratch, when there are already many people talkimg about these things on this very site!?

    Blogs with input from programme makers are the way forward, the opportunity for all people to get involved and participate in the debate.

    From what I've seen of the BBC blogs, they really only move when the bloggers are involved, otherwise the blog stalls or ends up in an embarrassing "where are they?" conversation between a few optimists. Usually they peter out into nothing or get shut down.

    Messageboards, on the other hand, are vibrant, lively places that do not rely on a couple of individuals to get a conversation going.

    Why is this blog not linked to POV?

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    Comment number 14.

    message12:
    Points of View is not relevant in any serious discussion about the BBC, it's just a messageboard for people that have nothing better to do in their life than complain about insignificant things. You couldn't possibly have a serious debate there about the direction the BBC is going, the programmes they're making. In these times of austerity and cost-cutting, POV should be the first thing to go.>>


    whereas on a blog that no-one visits and the original blogger doesn't reply it is better?

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    Comment number 15.

    12. At 2:27pm on 03 Mar 2010, Esperanto wrote:
    Blogs with input from programme makers are the way forward, the opportunity for all people to get involved and participate in the debate. I look forward to reading more.>

    esperanto, can you point out these blogs where programme makers have engaged with the audience? I have not seen any blogs where there is a DIALOGUE, and most are merely fire and forget blogs with maybe 3 or 4 comments from us.

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    Comment number 16.

    Hello Jana, I contribute to the Points of View TV board as well, it would be nice if you could come and talk to us sometime.

    The message boards are much easier to navigate than blogs, and also easier to find !

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    Comment number 17.

    12. At 2:27pm on 03 Mar 2010, Esperanto wrote:
    "Points of View is not relevant in any serious discussion about the BBC, it's just a messageboard for people that have nothing better to do in their life than complain about insignificant things."

    That you believe this, is your loss and probably the POV messageboard's gain.
    That most of the few contributions on this introductory blog appear to be from escapees from POV making a temporary visit, speaks volumes about the popularity of the blog format as a means of useful communication. One wonders if the aim is to stifle debate - surely not!

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    Comment number 18.

    I'm afraid I don't really see the point of having a TV blog either when we have a dedicated message board already - could someone explain the rationale behind this move, please?

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    Comment number 19.

    Thank you for your reply Esperanto, once again a first time user has a go at POV users - we're getting used to it.

    On POV you get a mix of people, from all walks of life, discussing all sorts of programmes - is it representative, probably not but more than blogs I'd say.

    If you can't be bothered to find "any serious discussion about the BBC" on the POV boards, frankly I can't be bothered to show you any.

    Can you point me to some of the superior discussions on the blogs, and particularly discussions you have contributed to? If you have indeed made any.

    Look forward to your second post.

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    Comment number 20.

    Is it just me, or is the layout of this blog worse than the others?

    PS. Does pre-mod last forever on this blog?

 

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