The world considers it the broadcasting model. Other nations look at it as if it was the utopy they dream to develop in their own homes. People all over the world wonder if it would ever be possible to establish such a broadcasting organisation in other countries, especially now, when the financial crisis has had a crashing impact.
Back in its home, the BBC promotes journalism based on truth and non-manipulation. However, it's not an idyllic and perfect model, in fact the United Kingdom itself often critizises it. But there's an important point to bear in mind: something that cannot be denied is the quality of the information. The runaway from sensationalism is an indisputable fact, and the materialisation of it is the result: a serious information that searches for a strict analysis of the cutting edge news.
The Times, however, and in general all the serious newspapers, are in an alarming decline. The question is: why is it the United Kingdom has the most desired broadcasting model, while the United Kingdom itself lets its serious newspapers die at the same time? Why is it that the BBC and the tabloids go hand in hand?
Are the British people strange two-faced specimens? The answer has nothing to do with this. It seems there are two paralel relations with the media: on the one hand, the BBC. Pepole search for seriousness, they want to be able to trust the information they recieve. They expect true information from the broadcasting they pay every year. Therefore, the BBC plays a crucial role: it represents the Truth itself, allowing people all over the United Kingdom (and the world) to be informed without political pressions and censoring in this broadcasting company.
On the other hand, however, British people want entertainment. They want sex, drugs, secrets, rubbish, humour. Big headlines, striking photographs. They want tabloids. And so, they buy yellow press. The difference is they know perfectly they cannot trust tabloids. And they accept it, and continue to consume them. Because they do not buy tabloids to believe them. They buy them to entertain themselves. They expect truth to come from another direction.
There is a line in the United Kingdom between the yellow press, that takes the role of rubbish and entertainment; and the BBC, that has on its shoulders the commitment to publish the Truth.
And British people know exactly where this line is.
Perfection, however, does not exist. And manipulation, ignorance, and strange envelopes going around are, unfortunately, a fact. And they are so not only in the countries wich look at the BBC with nostalgic eyes, but also in the country that gave birth to the BBC itself.
This post has been written inspired by the talk we have today attended in class. Ken Garner, professor at the Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, explained the situation of the Scottish media, talking about the History of this part of the United Kingdom and the "rivalry" between powerful London and the Scottish press, TV and Radio.
Nuria Ribas Costa