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The Lebrecht Weekly

 

Visit every week to read Norman Lebrecht's latest column. [Index]


The BBC climbs back on board

By Norman Lebrecht / February 4, 2009


There are rumblings around the BBC at Mark Thompsonís plan to put 200,000 paintings and some Arts Council films online as testimony of the Corpís commitment to arts broadcasting. ĎWhatís this got to do with us?í say hard-pressed producers who can find neither money for new programmes nor time to deal with all the compliance issues arising from the senior managementís multiple errors of judgement.

I have sympathy with that view. However, Thompsonís initiative is too important to belittle with cavils. It has been two decades since the BBC last made a meaningful overture to the arts and both the large and small print of this plan are impressive. Much will hinge on implementation, and the appointment of a cross-BBC arts board and an arts editor at BBC News will be crucial.

If the BBC can take a step away from Yentob-style puffery, its only concession to arts in recent years, it can begin once more to provide serious coverage of cultural issues and become a participant in the national conversation rather than a dumb spectator.

To be notified of the next Lebrecht article, please email mikevincent at scena dot org


Visit every week to read Norman Lebrecht's latest column. [Index]


 

 

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