Media Bias

A few different approaches to the same story.

Let’s start with the BBC (who can be expected to be a little biased here):

Hippos help revamp BBC One idents

BBC One has unveiled its latest on-screen identity, complete with new logo and images for the channel.

Segments between programmes from 7 October will feature kites, the moon, surfers and hippos.

They replace the current idents such as the Indian dancers and skateboarders, introduced in 2002.

BBC One controller Peter Fincham said: “In an increasingly competitive marketplace a channel needs to stand out from the crowd.”

The Guardian took a similarly factual approach:

BBC ditches ballet and basketball in favour of hippos, kites and surfers

After more than 43,000 appearances, BBC1 is retiring the ballet dancers, wheelchair basketball players and ravers who have introduced its programmes for the past four years in favour of a £1.2m rebrand.

The eight new “idents”, the 10-second clips that link programmes, have a consistent circular motif and include images of hippos swimming, stunt kites flying, children playing and gravity-defying motorcyclists riding a wheel of death.

The corporation hopes that, together with a new “softer” logo for the flagship channel and fresh music, the idents will help BBC1 stand out from the hundreds of digital channels and competing attractions on the internet and mobile phones. They will be launched on October 7.

But they do go on to say:

The BBC is likely to be criticised for the amount spent on the new clips and the fact that two were filmed on location in Croatia and Mexico. Coming on the same day that BBC News announced its latest tranche of job cuts, the move was attacked by broadcasting unions.

The Daily Mail saw it all in a completely different light:

BBC blows £1.2m on 80 seconds of hippos, kites and surf scenes

The BBC has spent £1.2 million of licence payers’ cash on 80 seconds of programming. The money has been spent on a new series of eight ‘idents’ for BBC1 – the 10-second clips that link TV shows. It is part of a major rebranding of the channel, which means ditching the old links featuring wheelchair dancers, Bollywood performers and tangoing couples.

But the cost is bound to stir up controversy as the broadcaster wields the axe over hundreds of jobs and enforces budget slashing measures.

The £1.2 million bill would pay for nearly two hours of primetime drama featuring a bigname cast and overseas filming.

The corporation may attract further fury because many of the segments, despite featuring extensive use of computer generated images, were shot in foreign locations including a surf scene on Mexico’s west coast and a peninsula in northern Croatia.

The new links will also disappoint traditionalists, who have long been campaigning for the return of the old BBC globe motif.

I particularly enjoyed that final point about traditionalists – that’s classic Daily Mail.

The Sun (prop: R Murdoch, owner of BBC rival Sky) were also predictably negative:

Beeb have gone hippo potty

BEEB bosses were blasted yesterday for splashing out £1.2million on 30-second plugs — including one showing synchronised swimming hippos.

The computer-generated “ident” is one of eight which will run between programmes on BBC1.

The figure, which works out at £5,000 A SECOND, is £500,000 more than was spent on the previous “dancer” clips, which included a wheelchair routine and had run for four years.

Dontcha just love the variety of the British media.

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