Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pipes not Poetry

The Digital Britain report is about pipes, not poetry, and spreads an underwhelming layer of digital varnish across a hopelessly wide range of services. It has stopped short of shoring up unsustainable businesses – Channel 4 and the BBC can form a partnership if they wish, but little pressure here and certainly no forced marriages. The BBC should be a public service partner to media companies, not a virulent competitor, says the report. There should be more focus on a new model for local news which will please some regional newspaper groups but will not begin to replace the money they have already lost and will continue to lose.

It isn't much of an electrifying vision, more a well-intentioned attempt to square the impossible circle of supporting innovation and disruption while exercising crowd control so the feeble and ailing don't all get trampled in the rush. Those who might be classified as "at risk" which includes the majority of existing UK media brands in one way or another, might all find a crumb of comfort somewhere in the 237 pages, but there is nothing here likely to sustain those who are unable or unwilling to institute some fairly radical self-help.

From Emily Bell in the Guardian.

So how does the radical "self help" begin? Now there's the question. Particularly taken with the NESTA stuff in DB. "Test-beds" et al. More, later. To go poetry rather than pipe, this report is for recollection in tranquility, not shrill blasts.

No comments: