By Derek Bateman
Just a quickie...I've been to Stirling Castle for a day oot…no mobile reception in the Great Hall…no wonder they call it Historic Scotland...
Two wee points since I'm rushing to get the tea organised…Kaye Adams is in the news as she's returning to her telly roots. It's a show called Loose Women which I haven't seen but may be related to bowel problems. I like her, so good luck, Kaye.
Some of you hate her show with a vengeance and link it to what you detest most about BBC journalism. On a technical point, Call Kaye isn't produced by the news department, but by something called Topicals. Her production team including researchers are not from the news department. In fact I'm not sure if any of them could accurately be described as journalists. No offence, guys.
That means that the topics selected are what a – very professional – group of non-journalists think the listeners will be interest in which may be one reason why you detect a tone that doesn't seem to match your expectations of BBC journalism – such as they are.
Personally, I think it's a mistake not to have it under the aegis of News and Current Affairs where it was at its launch. The only reason it was changed to Topicals, if I recall, was because of an internal turf war. The NCA didn't want to spend more money on it and the Head of Radio – a name that will soon be common on this site, Jeff Zycinski or, as I know him, The Great Neep of the North – refused to give NCA any more cash. Instead he took it over and then lavished money on it. I swear it looks as if there are more staff on Call Kaye than on GMS.
It is BBC journalism that understands the need for fairness and balance, I suggest, and other departments aren't necessarily trained in thinking that way. The trouble is, they are dealing with topics that require BBC impartiality but, in my view, the BBC is putting that in the wrong hands.
Is Kaye biased? Well, I don't listen because I don't learn. But if you hear what is a blatant bias, then her producer should be in her ear straight away. Sadly, studio production is a lost art at BBC Scotland but it is the very foundation of quality radio. Working closely with a hot studio producer – no, not that kind of hot – makes programmes zing.
You hear the benefit on air. Except nobody at PQ trains people to do it now and I doubt if there a single person left able to train the new boys and girls. Anyway, don't blame the journalists for your misgivings about Call Kaye. Silly name for a show…No? When I first hear it I said: Call Kaye What?
ALSO…you ask why did the BBC block comments to BT (Brian Taylor) and Scotland's answer to Robert Peston, Douglas Fraser?
Pardon me but I'm buggered if I know. I mean what is the point of going online and asking your two key editors covering the most controversial topics to analyse and interest the audience and then blocking any responses from that audience? The only other place doing this is China.
As I understand it some of our nastier blog bugs got in there and left their piles of ordour. But surely on a BBC site, they pay for professional moderation so you weed them out. I know some broadcast individuals are more sensitive than others to offensive comment although I take it as part of the cut and thrust myself.
I'm prepared to stick it to you, so I'm ready for the riposte. If you're on air, you're in the game, in my view. The only time I was shocked into revulsion was when some people wrote to me over stories in the papers about one of my daughters. It's hard to describe the depths of some people's lack of humanity.
I don't see BT being a shrinking violet either. He's from Dundee.
I did ask the man in the BBC whom I think is some kind of Compliance Officer – me neither – why this had been done as I thought, like much else I've blogged about, it was counter-productive and made the BBC look defensive and kind of retro, a sort of Amish broadcasting service. I didn't get anything approaching a coherent answer that I could repeat here.
Explanation? Panic when they saw what they'd unleashed…followed by refusal to accept Commoners' criticism of the mighty Beeb…and finally, self-righteous indignation along the lines of: If they won't play it our way, we'll close it down…that'll teach them.
Only it hasn't. It's backfired. You just can't go online with correspondent's views and leave them unchallenged by the people who are paying for them. Thought for the Day: Dysfunctional management
Courtesy of Derek Bateman