Wednesday, April 20

Ratz Fan Club

Lunchtime at the BBC - the time when we all get on the internet to connect with the real world. I was looking up information about the new pope and came across his fan club. On it you can buy some spiritually uplifting items. There is even a BLOG

Ratz Fan Club

Monday, April 11


Read today the tragic story of Donna Anthony convicted of killing her two young children. Six years on she has been released from prison after the evidence was found to be insecure.

However you look at it here is a story of profound loss. First she loses her children, then her dignity. She loses her freedom and in prison she is tormented by fellow inmates as the lowest of the low. Her husband leaves and while inside, her mother who had protested her innocence dies. Finally she loses her home. Assuming the papers are correct.

We can remember her in our prayers.

Sunday, April 10

Know when to take it away

Watching a video presentation by Tom Sherman an artist based in Canada. He discussed the value given to a piece of work by the amount of time spent on it. In a culture of convenience, he asked, perhaps it makes sense to produce art in the same amount of time it takes to consume it. Move as fast as you can to make your point.

However, he noticed, in this world of non-linear digital editing nothing was ever finished. Once a wood carver made his piece of art there was no turning back. For the digital artist there could be limitless revisions and improvements - nothing is ever finished. I know from personal experience that the possibility of making alterations to work is a curse.

Sherman told a story about an art teacher who had a remarkable gift for getting great work out of young children. When asked what her secret was she said it was that she knew when to take the paintings away from the children. To work for too long on something was to spoil it.

Why move beyond the sketch?

Watch the presentation

Thursday, April 7


Caught the end of a discussion on the Today programme about the value of working less and having more leisure time. The conversation went something like, giving people more time to enjoy themselves would not work. There is an underclass of unintelligent people who don't know what to do with their spare time. They watch trash on television and need to be educated but are incapable of taking anything in.

I'd be willing to give it a try! Besides, what's wrong with trashy television?

Tuesday, April 5


Today preparing the launch of a new local radio station in the west midlands. this is part of the BBC's strategy to be more local. The vision is for a broadcasting network which is better suited to the way future consumers will use the media - more local, more interactive and participatory. The station will be small and will eventually be cross-media hosting not only radio but local TV. The local TV experiment will be piloted in the autumn (i think this is no secret) and will be supported by audience generated content - i.e. the audience will have access to the air and the opportunity to file reports (possibly using mobile phones and cheap movie cameras).

In this setting the role of the journalist becomes editor and balance keeper rather than reporter. I suspect some of the BBC's political programming in the run up to the elections may be looking to be more "democratic" in its provision of stories and, I think, may offer the public the chance to upload comments from video mobile phones direct to a designated web site.

One speculation is that it may be possible to have a virtual tv/radio station which does away with centres, buildings and studios altogether. The BBC in my experience has always been quite keen on buildings and departments - uncomfortably so in my view, so any move in this direction will represent a significant change.

I guess these thoughts begin to raise the question of what actually is the BBC? We might say it is a place (but not a building or channel) - a set of boundaries - within which you can find content which is controlled by a set of common values. Within this space you will have the tools you need to both navigate and contribute to the landscape. (Note: For once the Church of England may be ahead of the BBC - see Grace)

The opinions expressed on this site are those of Mark Waddington and not his employer. If I have made any errors or published anything unfairly please bring it to my attention and I will make corrections if appropriate.