The Long and Winding Road : A ‘responsive’ Scottish Calvinist…

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A ‘responsive’ Scottish Calvinist

Strange title for a weekly ramble? Well yes, but there is a reason. This week the fabled BBC launched a new ‘responsive’ web presence to reflect the way we consume our digital media today. Way back in 1922 , when the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. was formed by Royal Charter, the focus was on controlling the explosion in the latest technological breakthrough, namely radio. When a similar expansion of radio licensed was experienced in the USA the market became somewhat chaotic and the good old Brits decided that they needed to exercise some control over this .

The first chairman was a Scottish Calvinist called John Reith. Such ethics hewn from granite were apparently desired to fend off the potential free for all which may have ensued. Over the years the BBC developed to become the world’s largest broadcaster, at least in terms of employees, and has expanded to every area of media production and broadcasting possible.

When encouraging children to speak clearly one would often here things like, “ speak like a BBC newsreader” such was the benchmark set by this company in all manner of endeavours.

Today , we could be forgiven to think that the BBC is a relic of past generations but that would be far from the truth. Despite the plethora of online based media outlets, many of which are free to air, the BBC has survived by being aggressively proactive in developing and spotting viewing trends and habits. The understanding of our digital consumption is key to providing a useful service, in fact the usefulness of the BBC offerings is exactly what has allowed them to remain at the forefront of media.

The World Service, broadcasting in many languages is often regarded as a peerless source of information around the world. Radio , internet, children’s programming, specialist drama, sport are all provided to high standards but importantly in ways in which we are easily able to consume them.

The 2012 London Olympics saw the launch of the most spectacular app by the BBC which gave you as complete a guide and commentary on the action as being in the stadia, it was truly exceptional. It came and went however , like the games, but in no way did they skimp on the quality of what they offered. There is a lesson there for all of us.

Oh, how simple ideas can work so well, lots of ‘memory lane’ stuff in that video. I particularly like the live newsroom telling us about a power failure at around 8 minutes into the video…they don’t do it like that any more!

I think the often used phrase , ‘change or die’ is appropriate in this case, don’t you?



see you on the long and winding road……. Patrick


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