If you feel a news story does not measure up to expected journalistic standards, bring it to the Journalism Dry Cleaner. Through our collective wisdom, we will strip it of all offensive dirt.




Wednesday, 3 March 2010


The BBC announces a drastic decision to close two radio stations. Two employees of the affected stations confront their boss in a live TV interview in ITV's Channel Four News!

The C4 presenter Jon Snow even goads the two BBC employees to challenge their boss's decision and publicly discredit the reasoning behind the planned closures.

And then the host turns to the BBC Director General Mark Thompson and attempts to pin him down with the points raised against the envisioned realignment of the giant public service broadcaster.

And all this is not happening at one of the BBC's news channels. It's playing out at what could loosely be termed as a rival TV station, in the sense of competition for the same audience.

BBC employees free to openly question their boss

I cannot even begin to imagine what nasty fate would befall, for example, an employee of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, if he or she criticises a decision by the Managing Director to close down some KBC radio channels, and challenge the MD at a live interview during the NTV prime news.

Either, there is a clear understanding that both the BBC boss and the two employees are answerable to the licensing paying British public in an equal measure, and with it comes the bold open defiance of conventional staff- manager protocol.

Or questioning the decisions of your boss, (publicly or in his/her face) does not amount to gross insubordination, likely to lead to summary dismissal.

But the professional maturity exemplified in this particular situation is admirable and highly desirable as it rises above the level of personalities involved and instead focuses on the issues at play.

No comments: