Coventry Conversations -Jana Bennett- Director of BBC Vision

Last friday I attended another Coventry Conversation, this week’s guest was Jana Bennett of the BBC and I was really excited to hear from such an eminent figure in British broadcasting. She is the most powerful woman in the BBC and holds huge responsibility – Jana heads all the BBC TV channels, BBC1 right through to CBeebies.

As I have written before on the blog I am firmly of the belief that the BBC is one of the most important aspects of British life, it still produces the best television, the best radio and runs arguably the best website in the world. For all its problems the BBC is absolutely vital to our society. The BBC archives, the BBC website, the BBC World Service, BBC Sport, BBC Comedy and BBC News are absolutely second to none in terms of quality, intellect and public service.

Unfortunately, unlike most other Coventry Conversations, I was left uninspired and disappointed by Mrs Bennett’s talk. She played a fifteen minute montage of popular BBC programs and spoke blandly about her role, her influences, her rise to the top and the people she has come across along the way, it seemed to be more self indulgent than genuinely informative. It would have been fascinating to hear her take on some of the most interesting debates about the BBC but she seemed to shy away from these. The license fee, BBC wages, BBC 6Music, the BBC website and the continued misunderstanding regarding sports broadcast rights would all have been so appropriate on the day the BBC was headline news for announcing their proposed cutbacks but she addressed none of these properly even when questioned further.

I can’t be left inspired by every conversation but it was a shame because I really was expecting so much more. Maybe that is because the excellent series of Conversations VERY rarely disappoints.

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One Response to “Coventry Conversations -Jana Bennett- Director of BBC Vision”

  1. Alison Le Mare Says:

    What a shame , the BBC should never miss the opportunity to blow its own trumpet. Students are both a perfect audience for a passionate advocacy of the BBC and the audience of the future for quality programming. I always think the BBC should publicise how highly regarded it is by the world at large as many people have no idea just how good it is and how much we should cherish it.

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