The main BBC One O'Clock News has just finished. As it closes, the newsreader says "a reminder of our main news today, the BBC has learned of concern amongst senior doctors about the tide of teenage alcoholism". Yesterday, at the same time, the same newsreader said "a reminder of our main news today, the BBC has learned that treating children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with drugs is not effective in the long-term". As I write this, the local news is on. The story starts : "it is BBC Children In Need on Friday and we look back on some of the schemes your money has helped in the past".
There is, of course, a common factor to all these stories. They are self-generated and manufactured to support the broadcasting schedules. The ADHD story was, in fact, a trailer for that evenings' Panorama report. The alcohol story is based on responses to a BBC survey, but as yet they are not saying why they undertook the survey. No doubt we will discover that it forms the basis of a BBC Special. And "Children In Need" will dominate the BBC schedules on Friday evening.
My moan is not with self-publicity. The BBC should be able to produce publicity about its own shows just as any other organisation might do. (By the way, the latest episode of "Fat Dog To The Big Apple has just been posted, don't forget to read it soon). The complaint is disguising such "promo's" as news. Worse still, headline news.