Shifting values at the BBC

By JubileeCentre 13 Nov 2012

by Jonathan Tame

The woeful troubles at the BBC coincide with its 90th anniversary this week. Shoddy journalism, failure of governance and poor judgment have left the public reputation of the BBC in tatters. More than that, the moralwikimedia commons user Briantist Bbc_logo_before_1986 standards of programming seem to keep falling. In the light of this, it's sobering to find out how the BBC Governors viewed things 80 years ago. When Broadcasting House was opened, this was the inscription at the entrance:

"To Almighty God - This shrine of the arts, music and literature is dedicated by the first Governors in the year of our Lord 1931, John Reith being Director General. It is their prayer that good seed sown will produce a good harvest, that everything offensive to decency and hostile to peace will be expelled, and that the nation will incline its ear to those things which are lovely, pure and of good report and thus pursue the path of wisdom and virtue."

One wonders for how long the staff and governors can go on saying that the BBC is the greatest public broadcaster in the world, when the values that greatness was built on have been rejected, and the moral compass they provided has been discarded.

Yet this inscription also offers us a sign of hope; British public life has not always been so secular, nor have godless values always been dominant in our media. As long as 'the salt has not lost its saltiness', we can pray and work towards the reform of our national life.

Leave a reply

All viewpoints are welcome, but please be constructive and positive in your engagement. Your email address will not be published.

You may also enjoy:



Modern Spirituality: learning from the poets

This Cambridge Paper offers a brief account of current alternative spiritual practices before asking what it is like to negotiate the tension between the assumptions of secularity and the impulses towards extra-ordinary forms of experience. Some of the richest accounts of modern spirituality come from the 1930s, and this paper examines some of the period’s profoundest poetic explorations of belief.

Download the paper