I know this is going to make me sound very very old, but I remember a time when the BBC news was read by a slightly cross looking elderly gentleman/lady with a plummy Oxbridge accent and a vaguely superior air about them. They didn't give me their opinion, or ask me to look at their blog, or leap about in front of fancy graphics. Their job was to disseminate the facts to the viewer. Nothing more, nothing less.
I liked that, it was how the news was supposed to be. There was no sitting on the edge of the desk in a matey "How you doin' " fashion, no slightly risqué flirty chats with their co-presenter (yes, they've turned into presenters now), they just sat behind a desk and told me about things that had happened. The responsibility of opinion was on me. Lovely.
As a result of this I haven't really used the BBC as my main source of news for a while. I know that they all pretty well follow the same format now, but it somehow seems so much easier to deal with when it's not the BBC that is talking to me like we're old mates.
Having said all of that, I was led via a link earlier this morning to the BBC news website. It's worth a look today for entertainment purposes alone.
On the right hand side of the page are a couple of interesting features:
The "Top Stories" box includes news that the editors of the BBC site (I guess) think are particularly noteworthy. Today these include stories about the Japanese nuclear meltdown, concerns over prison procedures and skulduggery in the G20. Pretty much what you'd expect.
Further down the page is "Most Popular". Most of the above appear in this list as you would expect, at position 4, 9 and 3 respectively. So what is the number 1 most popular story on the BBC website?
"Vandal attack on Clarkson fence."
Despite all that's going on in the world, the thing we most want to hear about as a group is the strife poor old Jezza is suffering at the hands of the local hoodies.
And then it occured to me that maybe the BBC is just having to give us what we want. Innit.