Thursday, August 25, 2011

Usually TV companies have to pay to publicise their programmes, either on hoardings or on other TV channels. Not so, it seems, with ITV's The X Factor. The show gets thousands of pounds' worth of free publicity, courtesy of BBC Newsround. Here, for instance.

How the BBC decides who and what to promote or ignore is anyone's guess - it's all part of the BBC's "editorial independence" - and that means the BBC isn't answerable to the public. Don't bother with Freedom of Information requests as the BBC has special exemptions from that law - and anyway, as I've discovered, the BBC's Information Policy and Compliance Department isn't above attempting to deceive the public - and then attempting to cover up the deception.

Mark Thompson, writing for The Guardian, says that The only reliable, durable and perpetual guarantor of independence is not profit, nor who you know. It is integrity - a reference, of course, to the infamous last words in a lecture delivered by James Murdoch at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in 2009. I will be returning to this later.

One of the BBC's favoured celebrities is Olly Murs, who has a new single out this week, heading for Number 1 in the charts. The single, Heart Skips A Beat, was released last Sunday - the same day Olly appeared in a BBC Lifeline appeal for a charity of which Mr Murs is a patron. The Lifeline appeal began with a clip from the video of Olly's new single.

The full BBC Lifeline appeal can be viewed on the iPlayer for a few more days.

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