For decades, the likes of Newsnight and Panorama have been bywords for exceptional journalism

So let's hear from defenders of the BBC - and not just opponents

Share
Related Topics

The phrase  “I Love the BBC” may not be too apparent on social media or in much of the tabloid press in recent weeks, given the horrific revelations with which we are now familiar.

The sexual torture of children passed around as a “show business perk” to those we trusted is seared into our minds and hearts burst to think of their suffering.

They are not and will not be forgotten. For those who suffer still the Childline website is here and their number is  0800 1111

But my reason for writing this piece stems from the fear that, as the clamouring grows for resignations, the history and achievements of the BBC may be lost. Already mutterings are surfacing from those with a political agenda that things must change. We know this, the BBC know this, so what do the politicians actually mean by this?

Anyone familiar with the course of the Welfare Reform Bill and the NHS deconstruction will know that our coalition seems to be treating our beloved public bodies as used cars. They are stripping them for parts and scrapping that which is deemed lacking in value.

Auntie

Yet BBC is so loved that many people in the UK call her "auntie", because the BBC is a member of the family.

I’ve criticized the BBC when I’ve thought them to be wrong, and we all should do that.

Undiluted praise serves no useful purpose. But it seems to me that in the recent turbulent times, no one has been harsher on the BBC than it has been on itself. From Panorama, to Eddie Mair, John Humphrys to Jeremy Paxman, the scrutiny has left no stone unturned and no department exempt.

I’ve worked there too and remember how pleased my Mum was when I told her. We both grew up during the glory days of the BBC (in her case radio then television) and it was an integral part of all of our lives. I worked in two lowly admin jobs, far removed for the glamorous side of TV, yet would often go for lunch in The Rehearsal Rooms and queue up with people so familiar to me I sometimes couldn't look directly at them. I went to TV Centre and watched them filming Top of the Pops and sat in the BBC bar.

Yet now all I’m hearing are the screeches of those who have made their contempt and loathing of the BBC clear for years.

Those voices have found, from within the BBC, a way to justify and vocalize their contempt for it.

Perhaps I’m blinkered, or perhaps I’m just reminded of legacy which bears repeating now more than ever. I don’t need to list the achievements of the BBC  but I’m going to list some because I feel that at this moment we should stand shoulder to shoulder with an organization which is bigger than its flaws and taller than its mistakes.  I don’t believe that in doing so I diminish the pain or exacerbate the hurt of children who suffered and suffer still at the hands of scum.

Life-changing television

News and current affairs are where the problems surfaced,  but they have also demonstrated integrity and life-changing reporting.

In terms of Newsnight, Sue Lloyd Robert’s films on attitudes to genital mutilation, Paul Mason’s continuing coverage of the situation in Greece, the investigation into the student loans company and - in full knowledge that this may throw light on the arrangements of BBC presenters - Paxman’s interview with Mark Thompson on the decision to cut 6Music.

In terms of Panorama, the list is equally long but the investigation into Winterbourne View, Fifa's Dirty Secrets, Undercover: Elderly Care and  Jimmy Savile - What the BBC Knew deserve special mention.

News coverage is equally exceptional. And from high quality children’s television through to radio, film, comedy, and current affairs the BBC is so much more than the a few bad decisions.

It's ours the BBC , yours and mine. I love it. And I’m afraid that as the broadcaster struggles to regain our trust it will lose sight of what makes it great. The last few days have concerned me that there is more at stake than reputations and salaries.

It’s hard to win the love of the public, but it’s harder to imagine a world without the BBC - and I’m dammed if I’m letting her go without a fight.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Supporters in favour of same-sex marriage pose for a photograph as thousands gather in Dublin Castle  

The lessons we can learn from Ireland's gay marriage referendum

Stefano Hatfield
Immigration enforcement officers lead a Romanian national who has been arrested on immigration offences from a house in Southall in London  

Don’t blame migrants – the West helped to create their plight

Yasmin Alibhai Brown
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?