Tuesday, 8 February 2011

BBC to delete online sites?

Bovvered? Bovvered? Can't be... Is this what BBC now stands for...?

Just picked up on the following tweet from Debbie Kennett (thanks Debbie) concerning what would appear to be a new incarnation of BBC vandalism when it comes to its own content. In the days of old, when the knights were bold, and presenters spoke in RP, the BBC wiped many of its programmes from videotape, including classic episodes of Doctor Who, Steptoe and Son, Dad's Army, and more. Video was expensive, and who wants to see them again anyway? Then one day it woke up to the cultural vandalism it had created with the policy, and has since been on the hunt for replacements from overseas copies of programmes which were dumped onto film and sold abroad.

Now it appears the same is about to happen all over again - with BBC online content. 172 websites are apparently about to be deleted forever - not archived - but dumped. Included are collections such as the WW2 People's War website which contains 47,000 personal stories recorded by members of the public. If this is true, the BBC should hang its head in shame and consult its own history books about why this was not a good policy the first time around...

For more, see


Professional genealogical problem solving and research
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)


Rosamunde Bott said...

What a tragic decision. It seems they never learn from history...

Anonymous said...

Well, it's been well reported that the BBC is strapped for cash and so, okay, there needs to be cuts to counterbalance this.

Not archiving it will just lead to a loss of relevant information/data that so many (i guess, i don't have access to the traffic stats) find interesting or maybe even useful as part of their education.

Perhaps the BBC would offer their website content out to interested 3rd parties to host, or transfer to another wing of the BBC where they can have some advertising alongside their content as a way to shore-up the difference?

Just deleting such lovingly crafted, well read material seems somewhat extreme and unwise to me.

Caroline Gurney said...

Meanwhile they pay Paxman £800,000 per year. The BBC is no longer fit for purpose and the end of the TV tax is long overdue.

Chris Paton said...

Couldn't agree more, and I sadly formed that opinion whilst I still worked there, hence why I couldn't wait to leave.

To me the BBC's remaining saving graces are its online content and its superb radio production. Clearly online content is now under tremendous risk, and I heard this morning a murmur about them wanting to tinker with radio content.

Hands off Radio 4 - or I predict there will be a reckoning with the Great British Public!


Anonymous said...

actually I have ask the BBC Trust about the disposal of BBC Intellectual Property without evaluation. I suggest you do the same.

Chris Paton said...

actually thanks


Anonymous said...

The BBC is not alone. Apparently, as a money-saving measure, NASA erased and reused the videotapes of the original moon landing.

For more see http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/07/16/us-nasa-tapes-idUSTRE56F5MK20090716

Luckily, network newscasts preserved their live broadcasts of the event.

History Man said...

what can we do to protest against this vandalism. I'm thinking particularly of the People's War site which has a lot of unique information.