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BBC review labels blogosphere as “unruly”

The BBC strategic review (PDF) of its services has been widely covered in the media, with much of the focus on the scrapping of 6 Music and cuts to BBC Online.

Buried in the document is a phrase that is reminiscent of how big media used to talk about the Internet a decade ago.

In a discussion of public space in the digital age, the review talks about the “vast and unruly world of the blogosphere.”

I was surprised at the language.  Unruly? Well, to an extent, yes. But why not say vibrant, lively or even boisterous?  In its choice of words, the BBC appears to dismiss the contribution that blogging is making to the public sphere.

Maybe someone should remind Mark Thompson that the BBC, itself, is part of the blogosphere, with dozens of BBC blogs.

Perhaps Forrester analyst Nick Thomas when he says that “Mark Thompson does not ‘get’ digital in the way that even his much-maligned predecessor John Birt did.”

It seems odd that the strategic review says the “internet is now the BBC’s third core medium” and that the”internet then is not an optional extra: it is the future for the BBC.”

But there is little about investment in the web, and more about cuts and “refocusing”, with the corporation spending 25% less on BBC Online by 2013.

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