While the BBC may have it’s problems, it’s the envy of the world, or so says David Mitchell in this week’s Observer.
I agree, or I wouldn’t be posting this here.
These contradictions make it very easy to find fault with the BBC and let its critics evade the real question which is, simply: do we want it or not? It’s a binary choice, all or nothing. I once came across a very persuasive analysis of organisations (it’s from the book Intelligent Leadership by Alistair Mant) which divides them into two categories: bicycles and frogs.
A bicycle is put together from interchangeable parts. You can take a bicycle-like system apart, polish or improve elements and then reassemble it into something that works better. A frog, however, evolved as a whole. If you chop a little bit off, it’ll muddle along. And another little bit and another and it’ll still be a frog, albeit a less functional one. But finally, with one tiny further change, it will cease to be a frog and nothing you can do will ever put it back together. Well, the BBC is an organisation to melt Miss Piggy’s heart.
By the way, Auntie Beeb, my offer still stands: I’m ready to pay a full license fee for the privilege to see the (unadulterated) BBC here in the US. Even streaming over the Internet is good enough.