The hardest sell 

5 November 2010

Strikes are never nice things even when you have 100% support from all concerned, but when it affects a group of people who appear to have relatively secure and reasonably paid jobs that many people would love to have, any industrial action becomes an incredibly contentious issue no matter how justified the basic cause might be.

Especially when some private sector journalists by comparison have less job security and perhaps an even lower income, although of course that’s a whole separate debate in itself.

(Also bear in mind that many other TV-related journalists either work for ITN or Sky; two organisations that are not normally noted for their cordiality towards the BBC.)

Basically it all boils down to BBC management directly affecting the future financial prospects of some of its most valued staff under circumstances that superficially don’t appear to be 100% justified, and as such ought to concern a much wider audience than merely the journalists that have been affected.

And it may be true that the BBC has now been hit by a poor licence fee settlement, but any pension fund should be entirely separate from a financial perspective because such funds should be ringfenced and not used for any other purposes whatsoever. Well that’s the theory…

Unfortunately despite attempts to mediate a settlement in this particular dispute, any failure to carry forward a pension proposal still appears to be due to a lack of coherent management communication which certainly seems to be a dismally recurring theme under the current regime. So yet again, the fingers are pointing right at the top.

In the meantime there’s likely to be much more of the same, which at least should provide some interesting viewing as well as providing a style of no-fuss news presentation that might actually be preferred by some viewers as opposed to an endless stream of speculation and pseudo-analysis that tends to characterize modern bulletins in general.