an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Beyond absurd: Paper that ignored BBC Young Musician whips up storm about my comments

Beneath a misleading headline and its usual BBC bashing, the Daily Telegraph has just suggested that I somehow accused the BBC of dumbing down the Young Musician contest.

I did no such thing. On the contrary, I praised the seriousness of the event while deploring the low-key presentation and lack of promotional back-up.

More particularly, I attacked all the national papers including the Telegraph for failing to report the final or the result.

The Telegraph, in its curious blog, continues to ignore it. One reader has already complained that all it gives is the name of the winner, not the runners up or what was played. The Guardian has done no better.

On this form, you can see why readers are deserting newspapers in their droves.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. richard carlisle says:

    They may think hurting you will help them in the long term — a fear of blogs encroaching on their turf — if it’s not that it’s simply the worldwide stupidity bath soaking us all.

  2. I suppose it’s nice to be name-checked by the torygraph but what they quoted rather misses my sarcasm. Oh well “any publicity”, as they say! Hope it draws the attention of the powers-that-be to the issue, and lets hope they get their act together for next time round!

  3. Well, by discussing “dumbing down” they were able to avoid answering the real question about lack of coverage, while simultaneously painting classical music as elitist. Nice work in one article.

    On the other hand, at least they mentioned the contest and the BBC is aware of the criticisms.

    • The thing is, the coverage really is dumbed down, not only of YM but much of the Proms coverage too, and also various bits of Radio 3 (e.g. the ghastly charts). As for classical music on the rest of the BBC’s output – in general, forget it, it’s just soundtrack or worse.

      This is not to say that they can’t do things really, really well. The broadcast quality of R3 is still good. Various innovations like Conductor Cam are quite cool (even if out of sync with the audio, well it was last time I used it). Certain programmes are truly outstanding – the only recent example I can think of instantly is the 4-part Symphony series on BBC4 with Simon Russell Beale and Mark Elder. Various friends not into classical who saw that were very taken with it, and various other friends who know classical intimately also loved it. Oh also the programme by Stephen Fry on Bayreuth was interesting if a little skin-deep.

      The BBC can definitely do “difficult” subjects in a mainstream way that doesn’t dumb down. They do this all the time with science programmes, in particular nature documentaries, but also subjects like maths with Simon Singh and Marcus du Sautoy, to say nothing of ancient history (even “The Life of Mohammed” which wasn’t on the face of it an appealing subject for an evening’s viewing was brilliantly done).

      Perhaps they need some more charismatic presenters?

  4. Michael Pearson says:

    The Telegraph???? I stopped buying it when Auberon Waugh shuffled off his mortal coil and since then, when it has come my way, it seems a pale shadow of it’s former self. An irrelevant organ these days methinks….

an ArtsJournal blog