Annie, The Beeb and Me

Last night I attended a performance of my children's school's annual Christmas show. A performance of the musical Annie. It was a brilliant performance, all of the children showed what a wealth of talent we have in Wales. A couple of the older performers showed that they have the ability to go far if they choose to follow a performing career.

A huge amount of extra curricular work and dedication from both pupils and teachers went into the performance and all involved deserve a vast amount of praise for their effort. Of course my boy's part made me a very, very proud Dad and made the show ten times better than anything that the West End or Broadway could ever offer.

A couple of days ago I made a post on my Welsh language blog Hen Rhech Flin entitled Anabl i Fwynhau Sioe'r Nadolig (Unable to Enjoy the Christmas Show). The post noted the difficulty that I, and other people who are hard of hearing, have at this time of the year because few school halls in Wales provide loop systems for hearing aid users. As school halls are public buildings and are subject to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, all of them should have such basic "access" equipment as standard.

My post was picked up by the BBC. I was phoned and asked if I would be willing to be interviewed about the subject of my post during the school show.

I said no!

It would be unfair to the individual school to be picked on for a problem that exists in all schools and it would be unfair to my boy to hear his Dad making a complaint about the school play that he was taking part in and had put so much effort into.

I did offer to be interviewed on the general point and to complain about the local authorities who have failed to provide the necessary equipment in all schools - but that wasn't good enough. The story was dropped.

I think that the Beebs attitude stinks. The fact that local authorities have failed to comply with their legal obligation; the fact that they have failed miserably to provide basic access for hard of hearing people to public buildings under their control, should be a good enough story, in its own right, for their journalists to investigate. The fact that they don't believe that the story is good enough unless it is sexed up by a complaint by a father criticising his own son's show just proves how dumbed down to gutter level the BBC's reporting has become of late.


  1. Thankfully in all my dealings with the media, the have been a lot fairer than the experience you quote here.

  2. It does sound like they wanted to do a bit of a one sided argument - which is against everything you are taught in journalism.

  3. Sensation is the only way for Beeb reportage.

  4. Very good post. Many publicly funded buildings and council departments have no idea about the DDA and what legal obligations they have to people.