Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Good, the Bad and the BBC

It is perhaps fair to say that the leadership of the Muslim community tends to focus on issues of self-interest and does not perceive (or provide examples where) campaigning on issues such as the environment, government corruption or care for the elderly are part of being an active British Muslim citizen.

This is a shame, as it essentially means that the Muslim community puts itself in a ghetto, silent on a great many issues where they could be acting as a force for good for society as a whole.

One of the reasons for setting up this blog was to provide examples of where one can interact with organisations on issues that are not generally perceived to be "Islamic"

Sometimes that may appear trivial, compared to the disasters that are befalling people in parts of the world, but life is not an either/or situation. A person can say "well done" to the council for planting some nice flowers one day, and campaign for release of political prisoners in a foreign land the next.

So, in this vein, BFTF felt moved to send emails of complaint and praise to the BBC about some of its output. . . .

The Complaint (Regarding The Search for Life : The Drake Equation, BBC4, 29th Dec)
The camera work made it difficult to understand the data presented. For example:
i) A key equation was presented -and then the camera began shaking violently so that the equation could not be read - WHY?
ii) Then the camera zoomed in so that only part of the equation could be seen - WHY?
iii) A little later, a chart showing how light from a star dips as a planet passes in front of it was shown - but the camera zoomed in so far that I could not tell how much the light dipped by - what it 1%, 20%, 90% - WHY DID YOU PREVENT ME FROM SEEING THIS?
Nor could I tell how long the effect lasted, because I could not see the X-axis- WHY DID YOU PREVENT ME FROM SEEING THIS?
And then the director decided that the best thing to do would be to shoot from BEHIND the screen, so that I could not see the chart at all - WHY?

BBC science programming never used to look like a pop video, why does it do so today? I have no doubt that if similar techniques were employed in a presentation that was being given internally at the BBC, staff would be up in arms - but it seems acceptable to do so for the audience.

Er, I think I have been a little over-tetchy with that, but it's really annoying when programme directors use fancy camerawork that prevents the viewer from getting all the information.

The Praise (Regarding a variety of programmes)
"I just wanted to say that I have really enjoyed a great many of the programmes broadcast by the BBC recently. In particular :

From our own Correspondant (Radio 4) - I have learnt so much about the world from this programme, and continue to be impressed by the beautiful language that the journalists use to describe their experiences.

The Parliament Channel - Lately, I have taken to having this on in the background of an evening when I am writing emails etc. I am coming to the view that this is a really important channel - it gives viewers a chance to see the political process in its raw form, undiluted or sensationalised by the media. On this channel I have heard numerous politicians speaking with passion, knowledge and eloquence - a far cry from the manner in which they are portrayed in the media usually. The many functions that the Speaker of the House attends outside of parliament has been fascinating to watch, including a recent event where a robust debate was held on the current political system and how it could be improved. The Parliament Channel is perhaps the only true reality TV there is - and it is also the most significant one. Thank you for setting this up.

Thinking Aloud (Radio 4) - Laurie Taylor is such an engaging host, who always seem to ask the right questions. This programme never fails to provide food for thought.

Comedy on Radio 4:
Heresy :Really funny, fascinating to hear snippets of the guests experiences along the way (such as Germaine Green saying what Jimi Hendrix was like !).
Mark Steel's In Town : Funny and educational! Could listen to this all day.
I Haven't Seen Starwars : This show always seems to get under the skin of the guests, revealing a side to them that it not usually on display
Genius : This show is Genius.

The Age of Do-Gooders : Learnt so much from this, this series had a lot or relevance to many questions facing society today.

Also, many of the one-off documentaries on the BBC are also excellent. Thanks once again and please keep up the good work."

Dear Reader, is there an organisation that is doing work that you particularly admire. If so, why not drop them a line to tell them so. .

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