Saturday, December 11, 2010

Asked to name a top BBC journalist, many people might suggest Jeremy Paxman or Andrew Marr. But apart from just being well known journalists Jeremy and Andrew have something else in common - they're both not entirely happy with blogs. In 2007 Jeremy said that the problem with blogs is the same as their strength: they don’t operate by conventional journalistic rules about checking facts. And this year the BBC's Andrew Marr was just downright rude to bloggers.

If Jeremy is worried that blogs don't operate by conventional journalistic rules such as checking facts, then what does he make of some of the mistakes on CBBC? For instance, last April CBBC misled children into thinking that Election: Your Vote was the first time they'd given kids a say in election politics.

And also on the topic of mistakes, the BBC has now admitted that Newsround misreported the total of cuts in the Government's spending review.

On Thursday afternoon Newsround's three webpages which had quoted £130 billion were all amended to £81 billion. There really was no excuse for a seven week delay before correcting such a major mistake. However the 'Last Updated' info on each of the pages is the same as before, and therefore incorrect.

Evan Davis didn't spot the major mistake, but then he didn't foresee the current economic mess we've been landed in either. The impending collapse in our economy was obvious to some people. Better BBC journalism, more critically-minded of politicians and their policies, could have helped avoid it.

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