The BBC is under attack on different fronts today from The Sun and The Telegraph.
The Sun askswhy a corporation which needs to save money (£550m at last count) needs to cover the US presidential primaries quite so extensively and questions whether its five million readers have even heard of them.
- March 22, 2019
- March 21, 2019
- March 20, 2019
It says in a leader column: "Have you heard of Super Tuesday? No, it's not half-price day at Tesco.
"It's a thrilling event for voters in Oklahoma – and BBC political journalists. A staggering 37 of them provided breathless coverage of the US poll to a handful of British licence payers.
"Remember that number when the BBC closes a channel you like to save money."
BBC News is expecting to have to cut £80m a year from its budget, and it seems like The Sun has some ideas about how that can be achieved.
A spokesman for the BBC told Press Gazette: "The US elections are a globally important story and almost all staff serve multiple programmes, stations and channels to ensure value for money. This is a list of journalists our audiences may want to follow on social media – not a list of those simply covering the elections – and the vast majority are our US based team who also report on other stories about America as well as a small number of staff in the UK."
Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph thinks the BBC does too much light and fluffy news.
'Is porn addiction a real thing?” That was the question posed by an article published recently on the website of the BBC, which was then widely disseminated and discussed on various social media networks. The article was part of a concerted effort by the corporation to reach a new and younger audience that gets its information online, not from television or radio.
"Whether the BBC is right to depart from its traditional broadcasting and expand its online publishing arm is a question worthy of debate."
In notes the report published yesterday which suggested the BBC's coverage of lighter news was depriving commercial rivals of £8m a year.
It asks: "Is this in the public interest? Is it in keeping with the BBC’s obligations to public service broadcasting?"
And adds: "It is hard to argue with John Whittingdale, the Culture Secretary, when he says that 'the soft news element of the BBC’s online services is of limited public value'."
The Telegraph does, it should be said, publish a certain amount of "soft news" with limited public value itself, such as this story today: "This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby suffers wardrobe malfunction at 10 Downing Street".